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BMO Financial Group Completes Purchase of Mercantile Bancorp, Inc.  

BMO Financial Group (TSX, NYSE: BMO) and its U.S. subsidiary, Harris Bank, today announced the completion of the acquisitions of Mercantile Bancorp, Inc. and Lake Commercial Corp.

Mercantile, based in Hammond, Indiana, has 19 branch locations and provides Harris with the opportunity to expand its community banking services into Northwest Indiana. Lake Commercial Corp. is an entity established to develop potential branch properties for Mercantile Bank. The acquisitions were announced on October 13, 2004.

Note to Photo Editors: To download a map showing Harris and Mercantile retail branch locations as well as photos of two representative Mercantile branches, please visit the following link:

About Harris Bank
Harris Bank is one of the largest community banking networks in Illinois and is part of Harris, an integrated financial service organization that provides more than 1.5 million personal, business, corporate and institutional clients with banking, lending, investing, financial planning, trust administration, portfolio management, family office and wealth transfer services. For more information, please visit

About BMO Financial Group
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services organization. With total assets of CDN$262 billion as at July 31, 2004 and more than 34,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions. BMO Financial Group serves clients across Canada and in the United States through its Canadian retail arm BMO Bank of Montreal; Chicago-based Harris; BMO Nesbitt Burns, one of Canada's leading full-service investment firms; and Harris Nesbitt, its U.S. investment and corporate banking operation.