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Bank of Montreal Begins 2004 Auditor Appointment Review  


The Audit Committee, on behalf of the Board of Directors of Bank of Montreal, today announced that it has initiated an extensive Shareholders’ Auditor appointment review process with a view to recommending a single firm to audit BMO Financial Group’s 2004 consolidated financial statements.

KPMG LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP are Bank of Montreal Shareholders’ Auditors for the 2003 fiscal year.  These two firms, in addition to Deloitte & Touche LLP and Ernst & Young LLP, have been asked to submit proposals for Board consideration.

The Board expects to complete its review later in the year so that it can present a recommendation for a vote by Bank of Montreal Shareholders at BMO Financial Group’s 2004 Annual Meeting.

BMO’s Audit Committee of the Board of Directors reviews and recommends the appointment of the Shareholders’ Auditor annually.  Given the consolidation and increasing globalization among audit firms and the increased importance that investors and regulators are attaching to auditor independence, BMO believes that naming a single auditor will continue to provide a high level of assurance to shareholders while expanding the pool of firms it can access for consulting services.

In keeping with this view, the successful firm will be engaged to provide assurance and related services for the Board but will not be eligible to provide non-audit services.   The bank will utilize other firms for non-audit services.

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