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HomePersonal BankingWealth ManagementSmall BusinessCommercialCorporate & InstitutionalAbout BMO

Through two centuries of driving and adapting to change, we’ve always understood the difference between longevity and sustainability. Because corporate responsibility is something we take personally.

The value created by a bank extends far beyond our array of products and services, or the technologies we use to streamline transactions, or the tools we introduce to make banking easy, flexible and responsive to changing needs. The many aspects of what we offer our customers all reflect a fundamental understanding of why we’re in business.

This understanding is central to how we think about corporate responsibility. We’re not just ticking boxes on a compliance checklist; we’re finding common ground with all of our stakeholders on the kind of future we want to build together. For us, this is personal.

Helping in three dimensions

It begins with basic human insight. By listening to our customers and learning what matters to them, we discover how we can help them succeed. The same holds true for all of our community partnerships – as the representative stories in this Corporate
Responsibility Report illustrate. Whether it’s the Next Door program advancing early childhood education in inner-city Milwaukee, or the Je vois Montréal initiative inviting grassroots ideas for revitalizing a great city, or WINGS in Chicago helping women escape domestic violence and reinvent their lives – the shared thread is listening closely to what people really need and tapping into our own experience to provide meaningful support.

Another vital dimension of help is developing new tools and better ways of working that fit naturally with how people think and want to manage their financial lives. In the same way as the founders of H2nanO refine their solar technology for cleaning contaminated water, or the entrepreneurs at Medella Health develop a smart contact lens that monitors wearers’ health, we put financial support systems in place that are simple and intuitive, freeing these young visionaries to concentrate on what they do best.

As we collaborate with all of our stakeholders, we know that success ultimately depends on how well our own teams work together. In helping the Piikani Nation of Alberta sustain its economic transformation, our Aboriginal Banking unit is supported by experts in many other areas of BMO, with everyone coordinating their efforts as one bank. And after a massive wildfire forced tens of thousands of Fort McMurray and area residents to flee their homes, our people right across Canada rallied to help customers, community members and our own colleagues cope with uncertainty and, in many cases, devastating loss.

Taking it personally

How we express our support for BMO’s diverse stakeholders has evolved over time. But as we approach the milestone of 200 years in business, our history makes clear that the desire to help has long defined our bank.

When we look back at the Bank of Montreal Youth Project, launched more than 40 years ago to help young people from low-income areas find employment, we see the same values that drive our community-building efforts today. The story of Buddy Boyd and his journey from unemployed teenager with limited prospects to successful recycling entrepreneur exemplifies our commitment to helping people realize their true potential. And Buddy’s belief in “paying it forward,” sharing the lessons he’s learned with others who need a hand, captures the spirit behind all of our efforts in pursuit of social, economic and environmental sustainability. When we collaborate with stakeholders, our collective impact radiates outward, with each positive step inspiring another.

Through two centuries of driving and adapting to change, we’ve always understood the difference between longevity and sustainability. We nurture our partnerships with stakeholders, supporting them with empathy – and doing so responsibly. And we know that to continue deserving the trust they’ve invested in us, we have to engage with them not merely as an institution putting policy into action, but as people helping people. Because corporate responsibility must be taken personally.

Bill Downe signature
Bill Downe

Chief Executive Officer