Annual Report 2016

Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Canadian Personal and
Commercial Banking

Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking provides a full range of financial products and services to eight million customers. We’re here to help our customers make the right financial decisions as they do business with us seamlessly across our channels: getting advice from our bankers at their places of business or ours, in over 900 branches, on their mobile devices, online, over the telephone, and at nearly 3,300 automated banking machines across the country.

Image of Cam Fowler

Cameron Fowler
Group Head
Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking
BMO Financial Group

Lines of Business

Personal Banking provides customers with a wide range of products and services, including chequing and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, creditor insurance and everyday financial and investment advice. Our employees are focused on providing all of our customers with an exceptional experience every time they interact with us.

Commercial Banking provides small business and commercial banking customers with a broad suite of commercial products and services, including business deposit accounts, commercial credit cards, business loans and commercial mortgages, cash management solutions, foreign exchange and specialized banking programs. Our Commercial bankers partner with our customers to help them grow and manage their business.

Strengths and Value Drivers

  • Highly engaged team of dedicated employees focused on providing a personalized banking experience, anticipating customers’ needs and finding new ways to help.
  • Strong commercial banking business, as evidenced by BMO’s number two ranking in Canadian market share for business loans up to $25 million.
  • Largest MasterCard card issuer in Canada for both retail and commercial cards.
  • Strong cards rewards program with World Elite Travel and World Elite CashBack, also Canada’s leading issuer of AIR MILES®.
  • Consistently applied credit risk management practices that provide customers with reliable access to appropriate financing solutions.
  • Proud to be the official bank of the Canadian defence community, serving the unique needs of Canadian military members and their families since 2008.

Strategy and Key Priorities

Our strategy is focused on capturing key growth and loyalty opportunities while capitalizing on the shift to digital channels to achieve greater efficiency.

Continue our focus on customer loyalty and growth

2016 Achievements

  • Achieved strong employee engagement survey results, particularly around customer focus, demonstrating our employees’ commitment to continuing to deliver a great customer experience.
  • Developed analytics capabilities to pinpoint and quickly solve customer irritants, improving the interaction experience of our customers.
  • Launched a data platform to help our front-line sales team make better personal connections through relevant, needs-based customer conversations.
  • Continued to enhance our fraud recovery and personal estate processes, making our customers’ involvement easier for them in the moments that really matter.
Personal banking
  • Achieved personal lending and deposit growth of 4% and 8%, respectively.
  • Increased our share of wallet with products that continue to meet the needs of our customers.
  • Ran effective campaigns on key offerings ranging from home financing to Everyday Banking, helping to increase our new-to-BMO customer base by 7%.
  • Completed the upgrade of automated banking machines that offer enhanced functionality, including intelligent touch screens and envelope-free deposits.
  • Grew our mix of advice-based roles, strengthening our ability to engage with customers on the financial issues important to them, when and how they choose to interact.
Commercial banking
  • Achieved commercial lending and deposit growth of 10% and 6%, respectively.
  • Simplified our product portfolio with the launch of five new Business Banking Plans, all with benefits and features aligned to our customers’ growing preference for digital banking.
  • Improved our processes and increased platform efficiencies, allowing our sales force to spend more time directly engaged with customers.
  • Named as the Best Commercial Bank in Canada for the second consecutive year by World Finance Magazine at its 2016 Banking Awards in recognition of our strong regional and industry focus, as well as our commitment to building customer relationships and providing innovative solutions.
  • Recently received our fifth consecutive gold-level certification in Progressive Aboriginal Relations from the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

2017 Focus

  • Continue to focus on improving customer loyalty by deepening relationships. In personal banking, deliver a leading customer experience leveraging new digital channels and existing networks. In commercial banking, target opportunities through diversification and product expansion.

Accelerate our digital strategy

2016 Achievements

  • Continued to grow digital channel sales volume, up almost 11% from the prior year, and now equivalent to the total sales volume in more than 115 branches.
  • Introduced a new mobile capability that allows current and prospective customers to open an account in minutes using their smartphones.
  • Launched biometric security enhancements for a number of corporate card customers with MasterCard Identity Check, enabling customers to verify their identity using facial recognition and fingerprints when making mobile and online purchases.
  • Introduced Apple Pay, allowing customers to make easy and secure purchases with their BMO credit and debit cards.

2017 Focus

  • Accelerate our digital capabilities to deliver a seamless customer experience.

Continued to ensure strong risk leadership and operating discipline

2016 Achievements

  • Achieved an average provision for credit losses of 26 basis points (as a percentage of total loans and acceptances), in line with historical trends.
  • Grew our well-diversified and geographically dispersed commercial lending book in line with our risk appetite.
  • Continued to invest in robust anti-money laundering capabilities to protect customers and address verification/disclosure requirements.
  • Enhanced processes, capabilities and systems to help front-line employees make relevant and timely offers to our customers within the limits of our risk appetite.

2017 Focus

  • Continue strengthening risk management practices and enhancing automation capabilities while delivering a great customer experience.


This Canadian P&C Banking section contains forward-looking statements. Please see the Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.


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