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BMO Financial Group Public Accountability Statement Available to Public  


BMO Financial Group announced the publication today of its first annual Public Accountability Statement.  BMO’s 2002 Public Accountability Statement documents the many ways that BMO Financial Group plays a role in the growth of Canada, the success of Canadians and the well-being of its communities.  The full text of the document can be viewed at BMO’s web site at

“As one of Canada’s largest businesses and as a responsible company that believes in the tenets of good corporate citizenship, BMO Financial Group has a key role to play in helping to ensure that Canada’s regions, towns and communities remain strong and vibrant,” said Tony Comper, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group.  “Helping to ensure a vibrant and strong Canada is part of our history – and our commitment to the future.”

BMO has been helping Canada’s communities thrive since it began business in 1817.  Today, BMO Financial Group stands as one of the country’s largest employers to more than 31,400 full and part-time Canadian employees and with total employee compensation paid of $2.33 billion.  BMO Financial Group’s taxes paid to all levels of government in Canada were $778 million and expenses to Canadian suppliers for items ranging from paper forms to the design of new branch buildings were $1.53 billion.

BMO Financial Group is also one of Canada’s largest corporate donors, contributing a total of $21.4 million in Canada last year to more than 2,000 charitable and not-for-profit organizations.  BMO also encourages its employees to be active volunteers within their communities, which they do, giving generously of their time and energy to support local initiatives. In 2002, BMO employees helped to raise $6.2 million for more than 2,200 charities through the BMO Fountain of Hope, Employees’ Foundation, BMO Financial Group.  BMO supports a wide range of charities, with a focus on assisting organizations and initiatives that encourage and facilitate learning.

“We fulfill our responsibility by helping Canadians realize their financial dreams, contributing to our nation’s economic well-being and striving to always be an excellent employer,” said Mr. Comper. “Our colleagues past and present have always been front-line leaders and champions in their communities. From financing Canada’s National Dream in the 19th century to pioneering workplace equity and diversity in the 20th to sponsoring everything from national scholarships to local bike rodeos in the 21st, our enterprise has always stood among this country’s most exemplary corporate citizens.”


BMO Financial Group
Corporate Giving and Community Support

BMO Financial Group welcomes the opportunity to contribute to both large and small organizations across a variety of areas including education, health, arts and culture, civic and community, and sports and athletics. Although BMO support is wide-ranging, its focus is on assisting organizations and initiatives that encourage and facilitate learning.

In 2002, BMO Financial Group contributed $3.7 million – 17 percent of its total donation dollars – to universities, schools and other educational organizations and has committed more than $8.9 million to Canadian post-secondary institutions including more than $7.2 million to provide scholarships and bursaries.

In 2002, BMO Financial Group contributed $4.6 million to hospitals and other health-related organizations, charities and programs supporting good health and medical research across Canada.

  • Last spring, more than 2,000 BMO employees raised almost $700,000 in local walkathons across the country in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
  • At the 1st International Conference on Inner City Health, BMO announced a pledge of $730,000 to the Inner City Health Research Unit at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

Arts and Culture
In 2002, BMO Financial Group contributed a total of $1.5 million to the arts in Canada.

  • Reflecting BMO’s focus on learning, a significant portion of arts and culture funding supports groups or programs that involve arts education and educational outreach.
  • Toronto – Canadian Opera Company’s BMO Financial Group Student Dress Rehearsals program
  • Winnipeg – Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Arts Advocacy Program
  • Montreal – National Theatre School of Canada
  • National Youth Orchestra of Canada
  • $100,000 Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre recognizes great creativity and is structured to encourage mentorship.

Civic and Community Development
In 2002, BMO contributed $2.6 million to organizations and programmes that support community development.

  • BMO’s $200,000 donation sponsored the Kids Help Phone Student Ambassador and Community Ambassador programs, helping to raise awareness of Canada’s national bilingual telephone and online counseling service for children and youth.

Sports and Athletics
BMO and its employees actively support hundreds of community sports teams and organizations across Canada.  In 2002 BMO contributed about $4.9 million in donations and sponsorships to sports and athletics organizations and programs.

  • $425,000 to the BMO Financial Group Future Links program – a partnership program between BMO, the Royal Canadian Golf Association, the Canadian Professional Golfers Association and Canada’s provincial golf associations that provides a range of services and activities to tens of thousands of young golfers.

BMO Financial Group is a major sponsor of women’s professional golf in Canada, reflecting a commitment to lifelong learning and a desire to develop women’s golf in Canada at all levels.

  • In 2002 BMO was the title sponsor of the BMO Financial Group Canadian Women’s Open (the only Ladies Professional Golf Association event in Canada) and the BMO Financial Group Women’s Tour.

For the past seven years, BMO has been the title sponsor of Canada’s most prestigious figure skating event, the BMO Financial Group Canadian Championships.

  • BMO is also a major sponsor of Skate Canada’s highly popular CanSkate program, which encourages figure skating at the grassroots level.
  • As well, BMO supports a number of regional and national competitions designed to develop younger skaters.

BMO Fountain of Hope, Employees’ Foundation, BMO Financial Group
Each year, thousands of BMO employees volunteer their time and share their wealth in order to make life better for their fellows  – and for us all.

  • In 2002, BMO employees helped to raise $6.2 million for more than 2,200 charities.
  • Through the Fountain of Hope, employees’ efforts supported national federated charities such as United Way and Centraide as well as national and local charities that focus on children, health and community services.

BMO Customers Big and Small
As Canada’s first bank, BMO has been an active participant in the growth and prosperity of Canadian communities for more than 185 years.  BMO is committed to providing all of its customers with the products, services and tools they need to meet their financial objectives.

Making basic banking more affordable
BMO strongly believes that it is important to treat customers with respect, regardless of their financial circumstances.

  • In the interest of making banking even more accessible to all customers, the bank requires only one piece of government-issued identification as well as a secondary piece of identification to open an account.
  • BMO Bank of Montreal offers special no-cost and low-cost banking to youths, students and seniors. Currently, more than 458,000 customers under the age of 21 and post-secondary students up to the age of 26 enjoy free banking services, as do 694,000 customers over the age of 60.
  • BMO’s Community Account provides more than 56,000 local not-for-profit associations and groups with lower-cost banking, thereby increasing funds available for good causes.

Ensuring Access
BMO serves its customers across Canada through more than 968 branches and 2,000 automated banking machines as well as through its electronic and telephone direct banking channel.  It is BMO’s goal to ensure that its business is accessible to all of its customers, including those with physical disabilities.

  • Currently 86 percent of BMO Bank of Montreal branches provide barrier-free access to entrances and vestibules.
  • 85 percent of BMO ABMs have enhanced features that make instructions easier to read.
  • BMO Bank of Montreal Direct Banking Client Services Centre is equipped with a teletypewriter device to assist customers with hearing disabilities.

Aboriginal Banking
BMO is working diligently to build mutually beneficial and sustainable relationships with aboriginal communities, businesses and individuals across Canada.

  • A 12-person Aboriginal Banking Unit, headed by Ron Jamieson, a Mohawk from Six Nations of the Grand River.
  • 12 full-service branches across Canada that service aboriginal communities, ten of which are located on First Nations territories.
  • Introduction of community banking outlets bring financial services to remote communities in Canada.
  • Dedicated aboriginal banking website at

Asian Banking

  • In communities with significant new immigrant populations, BMO Bank of Montreal provides literature on selected products and services in respective languages including Chinese, Korean, Hindi and Punjabi.
  • At specially designated BMO Bank of Montreal branches in major cities the bank staffs its locations to reflect the communities it serves.
  • More than 100 BMO Bank of Montreal branches officially provide service in Chinese, Canada’s third most common mother tongue according to the 2001 census.

Serving Customers Responsibly
To continually improve the bank’s level of service, BMO introduced an annual Branch Quality Customer Survey.

  • More than 19,000 customers have participated, helping the bank to identify service quality strengths and service gaps and to prompt action to improve service quality over time.

Executive Vice-President, Client Relations, BMO Nesbitt Burns
Chief Privacy Officer, BMO Financial Group

The desire to serve customers responsibly led to the establishment of this position:

  • to develop, implement and monitor the application of best practices in handling complaints, resolving disputes and managing client relations
  • to ensure that business strategy incorporates a commitment to respect and protect the privacy of customers’ personal information.

Standing by Small Business Clients
Over the past decade, BMO Bank of Montreal has invested more than $50 million in building a leadership position in small business banking.

  • BMO provides financial products and services and advisory support to more than 438,000 small and medium-sized business clients across Canada.
  • In the fall of 2001, BMO Bank of Montreal introduced a ‘prime rate sale’ for small business customers providing them with access to low-cost sources of credit.
  • BMO’s Prairies Disaster Relief Program is helping flood-and drought-affected farm and agribusiness related clients in the Prairies to improve their cash flow during the crisis.

At the end of October, 2002, BMO’s debt financing authorizations totalled approximately $90 billion, helping more than 150,000 businesses across Canada.

A socially responsible employer
BMO Financial Group has both a business imperative and a moral imperative to be an excellent employer.

  • The only bank to be featured in Mediacorp Canada Inc.’s 2003 edition of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.
  • Office of Diversity and Workplace Equity and Chairman’s Council on the Equitable Workplace provide counsel and advice to senior decision-makers regarding diversity issues.
  • 34.1 percent of executive positions at BMO globally are held by women,
  • 30.8 percent of the bank’s executive vice-presidents are women

Corporate Governance
BMO Financial Group’s Board of Directors bears the main responsibility for maintaining continuing high standards and encouraging the evolution of the organization’s corporate governance program.

  • In 2002, BMO became one of the first companies on the continent to announce its intention to expense stock options.
  • Chairman and CEO, Tony Comper and Chief Financial Officer, Karen Maidment, signed a statement as part of BMO’s third-quarter results, affirming their accountability for BMO’s financial information.
  • Mr. Comper and Ms. Maidment also signed a certification of BMO Financial Group’s annual results under the new U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

To view the entire BMO Financial Group 2002 Public Accountability Statement, go to