BMO Financial Group 2009 Corporate Responsibility Report and Public
Accountability Statement Available

TORONTO, March 12 /CNW/ - BMO Financial Group's 2009 Corporate Responsibility Report and Public Accountability Statement is now available at www.bmo.com/corporateresponsibility. The Report provides information specific to the organization's commitment to responsible and ethical corporate behaviour, environmental sustainability and its wide-ranging support of the communities it serves.

"Being in business carries with it duties to the people who bank with us, invest in our company, choose to work here and those whose communities we share. It should not mean we are simply here to maximize profit," said Bill Downe, President and CEO, BMO Financial Group. "Great companies care. In fact, to serve customers well, a company has to care about the same things its customers believe are important."

In 2009:

    
    -   BMO was the first major Canadian bank to offer the Registered
        Disability Savings Plan, which encourages families and individuals to
        save for the long-term security of people with disabilities.
    -   We offered support for customers affected by the downturn in the
        Atlantic lobster fishery.
    -   We introduced BMO Agri ReadiLine to help farmers effectively manage
        their finances throughout the year.
    -   BMO pledged to make an additional $1 billion in financing available
        to small and medium-sized businesses, recognizing the importance of
        this sector to the economy.
    -   We provided 1,426,500 seniors, youths and community groups with free
        banking services, an increase from 1,393,000 in 2008.
    -   We introduced a Welcome to Canada banking information package to meet
        the needs of Newcomers to Canada.
    -   We introduced BMO SmartSteps, a program designed to help our
        customers do better with their money.
    -   BMO Financial Group has been named as one of the highest scoring
        companies in the world and the only Canadian bank in the Global 500
        Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index for 2009.
    -   To help us meet our 2010 commitment to carbon neutrality for energy
        consumption and transportation emissions, BMO expanded our use of
        emissions-free power for all of our 64 facilities in Nova Scotia, New
        Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. BMO was also a founding investor
        in the Greening Canada Fund, which provides direct access to credits
        that offset greenhouse gas emissions.
    -   BMO was named Best Workplace for the Environmentally Conscious by
        Alberta Venture Magazine. The award recognizes our dedication to
        environmental stewardship and our understanding that our employees
        are valued partners on our sustainability journey.
    -   Global market research company Synovate recognized BMO Bank of
        Montreal as most improved in 2009 among the five largest Canadian
        banks.
    -   In the United States, Harris sponsored free Homebuyer Workshops in
        communities across Chicago.
    -   The Harris Contact Center in the United States was certified as a
        Center of Excellence by Purdue University's Center for Customer-
        Driven Quality.
    -   The BMO Retirement Institute continues to be a recognized leader,
        conducting research and offering advice on critical retirement
        issues. In 2009, we helped more than 4,500 people across Canada and
        in Chicago take charge of their retirement by conducting 30 workshops
        on the subject.
    

"For much of 2009 attention focused closely on economic issues and particularly on the way banks responded to support their customers. This reinforced our belief that the value in the fundamentals of banking - living within your means, taking risk appropriately and saving for a rainy day - which couldn't be more consistent with the way we do business, are standards that should never be taken for granted," said Mr. Downe.

"Responsibility begins with the way we conduct business. As a company, we strive to do the right thing - always. Our stakeholders expect this of us, and nothing could be more important to our success."

As part of an ongoing effort to make a positive contribution to environmental sustainability, BMO's Corporate Responsibility Report and 2009 Public Accountability Statement is available in electronic format. To read more about BMO's corporate citizenship activities, please visit www.bmo.com/corporateresponsibility.

SOURCE BMO BANK OF MONTREAL

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