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BMO Financial Group Receives Progressive Aboriginal Relations Award for its Work with Aboriginal Communities, Businesses and Peoples

- Sets the Gold Standard with Fourth Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) Award

- BMO has increased access to financing, leading to growth in business and infrastructure development

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Sept. 23, 2013) - Today, at the 11th Annual Gala Luncheon, BMO Financial Group was presented with a Gold level standing in the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) for its efforts to enhance partnerships with Canada's First Peoples.

CCAB's Progressive Aboriginal Relations certification program helps companies benchmark their performance and recognizes their commitment and success in building positive relations with Aboriginal people and communities. Companies can be re-certified every three years.

"This is an exceptional achievement, as BMO was the first bank to achieve Gold Level certification in Canada and is the only bank to achieve this level for the fourth consecutive time," said JP Gladu, President and CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. "BMO continues to be a leader through its work in financial literacy, skills development and assistance with building relationships with key leaders in the Aboriginal community. In recent years, Aboriginal communities have received access to unprecedented financial resources and BMO has been an integral part of this transformation."

Successful recipients of the PAR Award are assessed in four key areas: employment, business development, capacity building and community relations.

"For the last 25 years, BMO has been a leading partner with Canada's Aboriginal Communities. These last couple of years have been marked by unprecedented growth in hiring, developing and retaining Aboriginal talent and also building strong relationships with governments and businesses to better serve Aboriginal communities," said Stephen Fay, Head, Aboriginal Banking, BMO Financial Group. "We want to offer our sincere thanks to the team at the CCAB for recognizing our involvement and proving that we're up to the challenge of being a leader in this space for the next 25 years."

About BMO and the Aboriginal Community

In 2012, BMO celebrated twenty years of working with Aboriginal peoples in their communities. BMO's Aboriginal Banking Unit has 13 on-reserve branches and a more than $2 billion business relationship with Aboriginal customers. With a dedicated experienced team, BMO is able to help Aboriginal customers with products and services to meet their personal banking needs, provide financial advice to on-reserve businesses, and partner with communities on their economic development initiatives and provide customized trust and investment management solutions.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $549 billion as at July 31, 2013, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

About CCAB

CCAB is committed to the full participation of Aboriginal people in Canada's economy. A national non-profit organization, CCAB offers knowledge, resources and programs to both mainstream and Aboriginal owned companies that foster economic opportunities for Aboriginal people and business across Canada.

For further information:
Media Contacts:
Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596

Alexis Brown, Toronto
(416) 867-3996

Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224

Twitter: @BMOMedia

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