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BMO to Boost Credit to Women Business Owners by Up to $2 Billion

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 27, 2014) - BMO Bank of Montreal is making an additional $2 billion in credit available to women-owned businesses across Canada over the next three years.

"We're here to help, making more of our balance sheet available to women entrepreneurs so they have more certainty of credit to grow and create new jobs," said Steve Murphy, Head of Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal.

"Women business owners have told us they are confident in the Canadian economy, with 66 per cent having a positive economic outlook for the upcoming year and nearly half expecting their businesses will grow in 2015. They are looking to boost productivity and expand into new markets, both at home and abroad," added Mr. Murphy.

Capital spending by small- and medium-sized enterprises should see a lift given relatively strong finances and low interest rates, according to Jennifer Lee, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "The number of self-employed women in Canada has risen to nearly one million, up 17 per cent in the past decade compared to a rise of five per cent for self-employed men."

Sonya Kunkel, Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President Talent Strategies, BMO Financial Group, noted that women are making their mark in the boardroom as well. "Research conducted by Catalyst Canada shows companies with women on boards provide an 84 per cent better return on sales, a 60 per cent better return on invested capital and a 46 per cent better return on equity."

About BMO and Women Entrepreneurs

BMO Bank of Montreal has a long history of championing the advancement of women in Canadian business. BMO is a partner with national organizations including Catalyst, WBE Canada and Women Presidents' Organization. BMO is also the founding and leading partner in development for GroYourBiz.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services organization based in North America. The bank offers a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers. BMO Financial Group had more than $586 billion in total assets and approximately 47,000 employees at July 31, 2014.

For further information:
Media Contacts:
Paul Gammal, Toronto
(416) 867-3996

Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224

Twitter: @BMOmedia