Bank of Montreal - BMO Bank of Montreal Quick Facts The Bank of Montreal was founded in 1817, which makes it the oldest Canadian bank. The Bank of Montreal is also well known as BMO, which is its stock symbol. BMO operates under the corporate name BMO Financial Group. The Bank of Montreal is the fifth largest Canadian bank. The Bank of Montreal has over 34,000 employees worldwide. BMO is a registered member with the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation and a member of the Canadian Bankers Association. Bank of Montreal History The Bank of Montreal opened in Montreal, Quebec on November 3, 1817. BMO served as Canadian central bank until 1935, when the Bank of Canada was created. The Bank of Montreal participated actively in the development of Canada, taking part in the first transcontinental railway financing in the 1880s. Bank of Montreal was the first Canadian bank to open a branch outside of Canada. Today the Bank of Montreal is a major international bank with over 1100 offices worldwide. Since its creation the Bank of Montreal has acquired several Canadian banks and investment banking firms. The Bank of Montreal has significant presence all over the world, most notably in the US. In 1984 the BMO considerably expanded its operations in the US purchasing Chicago's Harris Bank. The Bank of Montreal announced a plan to merge with the Royal Bank of Canada in 1998, but this merger was blocked by the Canadian government. The Bank of Montreal moved its operational headquarters to Toronto in 1977, leaving the legal head office in Montreal. Bank of Montreal Operations The Bank of Montreal is divided into 3 client groups, each serving different financial market segment. The 3 client groups are as follows: Personal and Commercial Client Group – This is BMO’s retail banking division Investment Banking Group – Also know as BMO Capital Markets Private Client Group - Offers clients a wide range of wealth management services and investment products. BMO Retail Banking Services BMO offers a wide range of retail financial services including mortgages, unsecured credit cards, secured credit cards, credit lines, secured loans, unsecured loans, car loans, debt consolidation loans, bad credit loans> and Tax Free Savings Accounts.