BMO plans expansion in U.S. Midwest

Financial Post | Business

Bank of Montreal plans to build on its 2011 acquisition of Wisconsin lender Marshall & Ilsley in five key markets in the U.S. Midwest, and said the 2011 acquisition will yield more cost savings than previously thought.

Speaking at an investor presentation in Chicago, bank officials said the US$4.1-billion deal should yield savings of more than US$400-million. Previously the bank said savings would top US$300-million.

BMO, which doubled the branch count of its U.S. Harris Bank unit with the acquisition, also reiterated its medium-term goal of profit of more than US$1-billion from its U.S. retail and wealth business.

“That’s about a fivefold increase from 2010,” BMO Chief Executive Bill Downe told the audience.

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Canada’s big banks are not permitted to merge with each other and so have looked to international markets to find growth. BMO and Toronto-Dominion Bank now both boast large retail bank networks that they expect to…

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