BMO Financial Group Completes Purchases of Wisconsin Banks



    Acquisitions of Ozaukee Bank and Merchants & Manufacturers Bancorporation
    give Harris more than 270 locations in three Midwest states

    TORONTO, March 3 /CNW/ - BMO Financial Group (TSX, NYSE:   BMO) and its
U.S. subsidiary, Harris, today announced the completion of the acquisitions of
Ozaukee Bank and Merchants and Manufacturers Bancorporation, Inc., both based
in Wisconsin. The transactions were announced in 2007.
    Ozaukee Bank is a community bank with six full-service and two
limited-service locations in the northern part of the greater Milwaukee area
and is the deposit share leader in its market. Merchants and Manufacturers
operates 35 full-service and 11 limited-service locations in an area
concentrated in Milwaukee, and extending into Green Bay to the north and
LaCrosse to the west.  "Over the past several months since announcing these
transactions, we've had the opportunity to really get to know the teams at
MMBC and Ozaukee Bank and it's clear that we have a great opportunity to
leverage strengths from all three organizations to deliver an exceptional
level of banking in the Wisconsin market," said Ellen Costello, Chief
Executive Officer, Harris Bankcorp, Inc. "Collectively, we are determined to
continue delivering the exceptional service and outstanding community
commitment that Wisconsin has come to expect from these two banks and for
which Harris has been known for over 125 years."
    Effective immediately, Harris will begin to transition the banks to its
management operating model and has divided the market into three regions. As
previously announced, Tom Bolger is named President, Harris Wisconsin. He will
direct Harris' integration and expansion activities in the market and will
lead the Metro Region, covering Milwaukee and areas to the south. The Metro
Region will largely consist of the former Lincoln State Bank branches.
Additionally:

    
    -   Jim Rothenbach, formerly President and Chief Executive Officer at
        Ozaukee Bank, will serve as Harris Regional President for the
        Wisconsin North Region, including the area just north of Milwaukee
        and north to Sheboygan Falls. It will include the Ozaukee Bank
        branches, as well as the former Grafton State Bank and Wisconsin
        State Bank branches.
    -   Mel Hahs, a Community Bank President at MMBC, is named Regional
        President for the State Region, covering the far west and far north
        branches, including the former Reedsburg Bank, Fortress Bank and
        Community Bank Financial branches.
    -   Mike Murry, former MMBC chairman, and Mal Hepburn, former Ozaukee
        Bank chairman, will continue to chair our Community Boards and will
        provide ongoing counsel and business development support as we bring
        these banks together.
    

    With the closing of this acquisition, Harris now has more than 270
full-service locations in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin and nearly 650
Harris-branded ABMs and is closer to its goal of 350 to 400 locations across
the Midwest.
    Harris N.A. is the third-largest bank, based on branches, in the Chicago
market, with US$41.5 billion in assets and US$29.5 billion in deposits.
Additionally, Harris has affiliated wealth management offices in Arizona,
California, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Virginia and Washington.

    About Harris

    Harris is an integrated financial services organization providing more
than 1 million personal, business and corporate clients with banking, lending,
investing and wealth management solutions.





For further information:

For further information: For Media Relations Enquiries: Ralph Marranca,
Toronto, ralph.marranca@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996; Ronald Monet, Montreal,
ronald.monet@bmo.com, (514) 877-1101; Amy Yuhn, Chicago,
amy.yuhn@harrisbank.com, (312) 461-6055; For Investor Relations Enquiries:
Viki Lazaris, Toronto, viki.lazaris@bmo.com, (416) 867-6656; Steven Bonin,
Toronto, steven.bonin@bmo.com, (416) 867-5452; Krista White, Toronto,
krista.white@bmo.com, (416) 867-7019; Internet: www.bmo.com


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