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BMO Financial Group Supporting United Way Community Fund to Fill Gaps for Community Services due to COVID-19
  • $1MM pledged to support crisis relief efforts in areas of immediate community needs
  • Builds on BMO's commitment to support clients and team members affected by COVID-19, and long-standing partnership with United Way to foster inclusive local economic opportunity

TORONTO, March 20, 2020 /CNW/ - BMO Financial Group (NYSE, TSX: BMO) today announced a donation to United Way to support gaps in community services urgently needed for vulnerable individuals affected by the public health, social and economic consequences of COVID-19. As a first step, funds donated will be provided via United Way to communities across Canada affected by the virus.

"Every business can be a catalyst for change in their communities – this belief fuels our Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life. Supporting the United Way and their work with front-line community agencies enables us to quickly and effectively contribute to the fight against COVID-19," said Darryl White, Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group. "We are deeply grateful for the tireless dedication of workers providing essential services in our communities, including our own. Working together we will overcome the health and economic challenges we're facing. As individuals and companies consider options to make an impact by making a donation, I encourage them to use United Way's unique ability to distribute funding throughout their network of agencies to where it's needed most."

United Way will provide flexible resources to vulnerable people within communities nationally, which may include but are not limited to:

  • Help for seniors to ensure that while isolated, they are also supported
  • Basic needs to ensure isolated people have access to food, supplies and necessities
  • Mental health support to enable a continuum of supports, from soft reach outs to distress and crisis supports
  • Support for volunteers to ensure they can work with the network of agencies to meet needs in a coordinated and safe way
  • Capacity for community services to ensure they can continue to do their vital local work and reach out to most isolated

Today's announcement builds upon BMO's commitment to support the well-being of clients and team members through this period of uncertainty. Initiatives include a financial relief program for clients directly affected by COVID-19, as well as proactive measures to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of clients, team members, and the communities where the bank operates.

BMO's Partnership with United Way
BMO is a long-time partner of United Way in its Building Strong Neighbourhoods initiatives to overcome challenges to inclusive economic opportunity. BMO is a founding partner of the Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity initiative, a ground-breaking effort spearheaded by BMO and United Way Greater Toronto that brings together business and community leaders to work together in reducing economic disparity. The bank has extended this model to Chicago. BMO previously donated $10 Million to United Way in each community to support the efforts. Additionally, in 2019, BMO employees donated more than $22 million to United Way and other charities through the annual BMO Employee Giving Campaign.

About BMO Financial Group 
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider - the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $880 billion as of January 31, 2020, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

About United Way Greater Toronto: As the largest non-government funder of community services in the GTA, United Way Greater Toronto reinforces a crucial community safety net. United Way's network of agencies and initiatives in neighbourhoods across Peel, Toronto and York Region works to ensure that everyone has access to the programs and services they need to thrive today. Mobilizing the network and other community support, United Way tackles #UNIGNORABLE issues linked to poverty. United Way's work is rooted in ground-breaking research, strategic leadership, local advocacy and cross-sectoral partnerships committed to building lasting solutions to the GTA's greatest challenges. unitedwaygt.org

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: BMO Media Contacts: Julie Smithers, Toronto, Julie.Smithers@bmo.com, (647) 391-1630

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