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."
- 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
- 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-
- 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
For further information: For further information: For news media inquiries, please contact: (416) 867-3996