Printer Friendly

FIRST INTO THE FUTURE: PART II -- HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE CHAIRMAN'S ADDRESS TO THE ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS OF BANK OF MONTREAL

 MONTREAL, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Speaking to shareholders at Bank of Montreal's 176th annual meeting here today, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matthew W. Barrett described the Bank's "Vision 2002," the strategic plan to make Bank of Montreal "the first full-service, continent-wide North American bank." He said the plan represents both a "strategic defense" against the growing competition from U.S. banks and "an unequalled opportunity" for future growth that cannot be profitably matched anywhere else.
 Reporting the fourth straight year of record earnings at the Bank, Mr. Barrett explained that the four-pronged strategy begins with the Bank's Canadian operations. "We will compete FEROCIOUSLY in the small business market," he said, as well as in personal banking and wealth management.
 Turning to the U.S. expansion strategy, the bank chairman cited two "unique over-arching advantages" which make the strategy especially appropriate for Bank of Montreal -- "our long-standing leadership in electronic technology," and Harris Bankcorp, a diversified financial services provider in the U.S., wholly owned by Bank of Montreal.
 "I know from my own discussions with business people across the United States that owning Harris gives us advantages in their market that no other Canadian bank can match," he told shareholders.
 Harris is the "backbone" of the U.S. strategy, he said, elaborating on plans to invest $1 billion to triple Harris's market share in the United States. Harris's expansion will, in turn, complement the other elements of Vision 2002 -- the North America-wide expansion of both Corporate & Institutional Financial Services and Investment Banking.
 One consideration underlying Vision 2002 is its ability to position the Bank to meet increasing competition from American banks. Canadian banks face a stark choice, Mr. Barrett said. They must be able to offer a full range of services on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border, or resign themselves to becoming, essentially, regional banks -- "and perhaps not even INDEPENDENT regional banks," he added.
 Mr. Barrett pointed out that the far-reaching process of consolidation, restructuring and regulatory change in the North American financial services industry has resulted in the emergence in the U.S. of a new set of "powerful and territorially expansive banks -- Super Banks." Whereas Canadian banks had always enjoyed a competitive advantage because of their size, he noted that their relative importance in the North American league had already started to diminish. "Sooner or later, (Canadian banks) can expect to face much more intense competition from American banks right here in Canada," he said.
 "We at Bank of Montreal don't intend to sit still waiting to become a branch plant operation," Mr. Barrett declared. "We intend to engage the U.S. competition on their own ground long before they cast their eyes northward."
 The Bank benefits from its Canadian roots, Mr. Barrett said, indicating that Canada is the "perfect site to locate the vital nerve centre necessary to an international organization with a North American focus." In particular, he cited Canada's technological infrastructure and its world-renowned strengths in software and telecommunications.
 He also said that Canada will benefit from the Bank's plan. "It's too often overlooked that the Canadian financial services industry is already running a successful service export business, and Bank of Montreal is one of Canada's biggest service exporters," he said. "And that means jobs -- skilled, challenging, well-paid jobs for Canadians."
 "The strategy I have laid out today will, I believe, contribute to the growth of this Bank, of the customers it serves and, in all modesty, of the country which spawned its success."
 -0- 1/17/94
 /EDITORS' NOTE: Full text is available by calling Public Affairs, 416-867-7662/
 /CONTACT: Suzanne Michaud (Montreal), 514-877-1101; Lynne Kilpatrick (Toronto), 416-867-7662; or Don Peacock (Vancouver), 604-665-7596, all for Bank of Montreal/
 (BMO.)


CO: Bank of Montreal ST: Quebec IN: FIN SU:

SP -- NY042 -- 1298 01/17/94 11:49 EST
COPYRIGHT 1994 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 17, 1994
Words:634
Previous Article:IFREMER FRENCH RESEARCH INSTITUTE LOOKS FOR NEW WAYS TO EXPLORE THE SEA WITH CONVEX META SERIES
Next Article:PHELPS DODGE OPENS FIRST CARBON BLACK PLANT IN HUNGARY
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters