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MONTREAL, May 26, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Laurentian Bank celebrates its
165th anniversary today.
Laurentian Bank was founded in Montréal in 1846 by Monsignor Bourget and
a group of 15 prominent Montréalers. Numerous other distinguished
citizens soon joined the founders, among them notably Louis-Hippolyte
Lafontaine, Louis-Joseph Papineau and Georges-Étienne Cartier, as well
as English-speaking Canadians, Scotsmen, Americans, British and
Irishmen, including William Workman, the Bank's first President and
later Mayor of Montréal. Pioneer in the Québec business world, and
firmly established elsewhere in Canada owing to its select position in
specific market segments, the Bank marries a rich history, rooted
deeply in Québec, with the vitality of a bank in full expansion that
has succeeded in modernizing with the times. Laurentian Bank is the
province's third oldest private enterprise.
A bank completely transformed
"After 165 years of operation, it is a fitting time to reflect upon the
profound transformation our organization has undergone over the past
number of years, acknowledge the strength of our performance today, and
envisage our potential for the future. Through the reflection, one
thing has become perfectly clear to us — it's not the same bank
anymore,"commented Réjean Robitaille, President and Chief Executive
Officer of Laurentian Bank.
Its successes are founded in the work of over 3,700 employees, dedicated
to fulfilling the Laurentian Bank's business plan. This immense
collective effort has led to a period of sustained growth that has
thoroughly transformed the face of the Bank. Indeed, the Bank has just
launched its Month of Extraordinary Employees to pay tribute to their contribution.
165 years of evolving and innovating
The Montréal City and District Savings Bank, that would become
Laurentian Bank of Canada, was founded on May 26, 1846. Governed by an
Act respecting Savings Banks in the Province of Québec, it was obliged
to limit its activities exclusively to the City of Montréal. This
explains the high concentration of the Bank's branches throughout the
In an effort to instil in young people sound savings habits, the Bank
launched its Piggy Bank Program in 1902, which consisted of a bank with lock that could be opened only
at Bank branches.
A milestone in its growth, Laurentian Bank listed its shares on the
Montréal Stock Exchange in 1965. The 1970s marked an important phase in
the series of innovations the Bank would spearhead: the linking of its
branches to each other through a central computer—it was the first bank
in Canada to be equipped with such a system. The Bank further
instituted the Drive-Through banking service, allowing clients to make teller-mediated bank
transactions from their cars.
Thanks to an amendment to its Charter, the Bank obtained the right to
operate branches outside Québec. Thus, in 1981, it inaugurated its
first out-of-province branch in Ottawa. In 1983, the Bank completed the
listing of its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Note: bank
executives and employees will head to Toronto this June 29 to ring the
Toronto Stock Exchange's opening bell in honour of the banking
institution's 165th anniversary).
In 1987, the Montréal City and District Savings Bank changed its name to
become Laurentian Bank of Canada, with Laurentian Group Corporation as
the majority shareholder.
At the close of the 1990s, the Bank would become the first in Canada to
appoint a woman to its board of directors. Ms. Jeannine Guillevin-Wood
was named chairman of the board.
Today, Laurentian Bank is undergoing a period of transformation and
strategic positioning. In 2004, as part of its new business strategy,
it launched several new products and concepts, including the first Espresso Bank-Café and—the only one of its kind in Canada—the Financial Services Boutiques
concept, of which we have just inaugurated the first of its 2nd
generation branches in LaSalle and Québec City.
The Bank further launched the Laurentian Bank Academy and other training
programs, such as Leader in Action, as well as Laurentian Bank Career Station. Following a call for
tenders, the Bank was awarded exclusive rights to operate automated
banking machines in the Montréal Métro stations and throughout the
network of the Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT).
About Laurentian Bank
Laurentian Bank of Canada is a banking institution operating across
Canada and offering its clients diversified financial services.
Distinguishing itself through excellence in service, as well as through
its simplicity and proximity, the Bank serves individual consumers and
small and medium-sized businesses. The Bank also offers its products to
a wide network of independent financial intermediaries through B2B
Trust, as well as full-service brokerage solutions through Laurentian
Bank Securities. Laurentian Bank is well established in the Province of
Québec, operating the third-largest retail branch network. Elsewhere
throughout Canada, it operates in specific market segments where it
holds an enviable position. Laurentian Bank of Canada has more than
$23 billion in balance sheet assets and more than $15 billion in assets
under administration. Founded in 1846, the Bank employs more than 3,700
/NOTE TO EDITORS: Media Assets accompanying this story are available as
SOURCE LAURENTIAN BANK OF CANADA
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