BMO Bank, N.A. (colloquially BMO; US: /bm/) is an American national bank that is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. It is the U.S. subsidiary of the Toronto-based multinational investment bank and financial services company Bank of Montreal, which owns it through the holding company BMO Financial Corporation (formerly Bankmont Financial Corporation, then Harris Financial Corporation). In September 2023, it was the 8th largest bank in the United States by total assets.

BMO Bank, N.A.
  • N.W. Harris & Co. (1882–1907)
  • M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank (1847–2012)
  • Harris Trust and Savings Bank (1907–1972)
  • Harris Bank, N.A. (1972–2005; Harris Bank name then retired in 2005)
  • BMO Harris Bank, N.A. (2011–2023)
Company typeSubsidiary
PredecessorsSuburban Bancorp
Marshall & Ilsley
Bank of the West
Founded1882; 142 years ago (1882)
FounderNorman Wait Harris
Key people
  • Daryl White (CEO—BMO Financial Group)
  • David R. Casper (US CEO)
ProductsConsumer banking, corporate banking, private banking, financial analysis, insurance, investment banking, mortgage loans, private equity, wealth management, credit cards
  • Harris Bankcorp, Inc. (1972–1984)
  • Bank of Montreal (through BMO Financial Group; 1984–present)
Number of employees
55,767 (FTE, 2023)[1]
  • Bankmont Financial Corporation (1984–2004)
  • Harris Financial Corporation (2004–2011)
  • BMO Financial Corporation (2011–present)

The bank was founded in 1882 as N.W. Harris & Co. before changing its name to Harris Trust and Savings Bank in 1907, and then Harris Bank in 1972. After the Bank of Montreal acquired the company in 1984, it eventually became branded as BMO Harris Bank by 2011. Under the Bank of Montreal's ownership, the company increased its presence in the U.S. through a series of acquisitions of other banks, such as Suburban Bancorp in 1994, Marshall & Ilsley in 2011, and Bank of the West in 2023. Coinciding with the Bank of the West merger, BMO announced that it would retire the "BMO Harris Bank" brand in favor of the global "BMO" brand of its Canadian parent company.[2]

History edit

In 1882, Norman Wait Harris established N.W. Harris & Co., a Chicago-based municipal bond broker and the forerunner of Harris Bank. Harris Trust and Savings Bank was established in 1907. It merged with Chicago National Bank in 1960 and was restructured as Harris Bank, N.A. in 1972. Bank of Montreal (later known as BMO Financial Group) acquired Harris in 1984.[3]

The bank grew rapidly through a series of acquisitions beginning with the First National Bank of Barrington in 1985, State Bank of St. Charles and First National Bank of Batavia in 1988 and Libertyville Federal Savings Bank and Loan and Frankfort Bancshares in 1990. Harris Bankcorp and Suburban Bancorp combined under the Harris name in 1994 and two years later, the company acquired 54 Chicago area branches from Household Bank.[4] In 1999, the direct brokerage firm Burke, Christensen & Lewis merged with Harris Investors Direct to form Harris InvestorLine. The company's further acquisitions include Freeman Welwood in 2000;[5] Village Bank of Naples, and Century Bank (Arizona) and First National Bank of Joliet in 2001; Northwestern Trust and Investors Advisory Company (Seattle) in 2002. Also in 2002, InvestorLine combined with CSFBdirect to form Harrisdirect and Harris acquired online client accounts of Morgan Stanley Individual Investor Group and myCFO. The following year, it purchased Sullivan, Bruyette Speros & Blayney Incorporated, followed by Lakeland Community Bank in Round Lake, and Villa Park Trust and Savings Bank in 2005.[6]

BMO continued its acquisitions in 2007 with First National Bank & Trust, (Kokomo, Indiana)[7] followed by Ozaukee Bank, (Cedarburg, Wisconsin) and Merchant and Manufacturers Bankcorp Inc., (New Berlin, Wisconsin) in 2008,[8] and Amcore Bank N.A. (Rockford, Illinois) on April 23, 2010.[9]

On December 17, 2010, Bank of Montreal agreed to purchase Milwaukee-based Marshall & Ilsley Corporation in an all-stock transaction valued at about US$4.1 billion. Marshall & Ilsley and Harris Bankcorp were both rebranded as BMO Harris. The company restructured as BMO Bankcorp July 5, 2011.

In December 2015, the company completed its acquisition of General Electric Capital Corp.'s transportation finance business.[10]

BMO was the bank with the second-most deposits in Chicago by June 2018, with 11.5% market share.[11] Also, that month, its BMO Harris division was operating in eight states in the US.[12]

In December 2021, Bank of Montreal agreed to purchase Bank of the West with the intent on merging it with BMO Harris Bank, which would at least double its U.S. presence.[13][14] The acquisition of Bank of the West was completed in February 2023, and the Bank of the West brand is planned to be absorbed into the global BMO brand by September 2023.[15] Coinciding with this merger, BMO Harris Bank announced that it will retire the combined "BMO Harris" brand and will start to use the global BMO brand of its Canadian parent company.[2] The company will then begin to primarily do business as "BMO Bank N.A." in September 2023 once the integration with Bank of the West is completed.[16]

Operations edit

A BMO branch in Black Creek, Wisconsin

BMO is one of the largest banks in the Midwest with over 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Arizona, Florida and California.[3] It is the second-largest Chicago-area bank based on market share, behind JPMorgan Chase, and the second largest US subsidiary of a Canadian bank after TD Bank, N.A. (owned by the Toronto-Dominion Bank).[17] BMO is the issuer of the Diners Club cards in the United States.

Headquarters edit

Harris Trust Building in Chicago (c. 1911)

BMO is headquartered in a complex of three buildings in Chicago's Loop neighborhood. The original 21-story building was constructed in 1910 at 119 West Monroe Street. The entrance to the building is flanked by two bas-relief sculptures of lions, which inspired various iterations of the bank's logo until 2011, along with the bank's mascot character, Hubert the Lion. In 1960, a 23-story structure was added to the east with the address of 111 West Monroe. In 1974, a second 38-story tower was added to the west, with the address of 115 South LaSalle Street. Both additions were designed by the firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and are in the modern style. The bank uses the address of the 1960 building.[18] In December 2018, the bank announced it would move its headquarters to 14 floors of a 50-story office tower adjacent to Chicago Union Station. The new BMO Tower opened in 2022.[19]

Additionally, notable BMO buildings are located in Milwaukee (BMO Harris Financial Center), at 770 North Water Street, and Indianapolis (BMO Plaza). In 2017, the bank began construction of a 25-story BMO Tower at North Water and East Wells, adjacent to its current Milwaukee headquarters. The bank expects to occupy 123,000 square feet (11,400 m2) of the building beginning in December 2019. In August 2017, BMO sold the 20-story structure it currently occupies to real estate firm Irgens, which plans to remodel and lease it.[20]

Naming rights and sponsorships edit

BMO owns corporate naming rights to the following:

BMO Bank is a sponsor of:

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Investor Relations. BMO Financial Group" (PDF). BMO. December 1, 2023. Retrieved 2024-01-04.
  2. ^ a b "BMO Harris Bank to simplify its name, merge with Bank of the West". 2023-02-01. Retrieved 2023-02-19.
  3. ^ a b "About BMO Harris Bank". BMO Harris. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  4. ^ "Harris Bank To Become A Household Name, To Buy 54 Of Its Branches". Chicago Tribune. Bloomberg Business. 16 April 1996. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  5. ^ "BofM buying Freeman Welwood for $140 million". CBC News. 10 November 2000. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  6. ^ "Harris Announces Intent to Purchase Villa ParkTrust and Savings Bank" (Press release). 7 July 2005. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  7. ^ Dempsey, John (27 September 2006). "Harris Buys First National". Kokomo Tribune. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  8. ^ "Harris closes on Merchants, Ozaukee bank acquisitions". Milwaukee Business Journal. 4 March 2008. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  9. ^ Gores, Paul (23 April 2010). "Regulators shut down Amcore Bank". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  10. ^ Bauter, Allison (December 1, 2015). "BMO Harris closes on acquisition of GE Capital business". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved 2017-08-03.
  11. ^ "Bank of Montreal and CIBC square off in Chicago". American Banker. 2018-06-28. Retrieved 2020-12-04.
  12. ^ "BMO Harris to emphasize digital revamp in U.S. strategy shift". American Banker. 2018-06-22. Retrieved 2020-12-04.
  13. ^ "Bank of Montreal expands U.S. presence with $16 bln purchase of Bank of the West from BNP Paribas". Reuters. 2021-12-20. Retrieved 2022-05-14.
  14. ^ "Complementary branches may spare job cuts in BMO, Bank of the West deal". 2021-12-23. Retrieved 2022-05-14.
  15. ^ "Bank of the West's new owner talks new name, job cuts and plans for Bay Area real estate". 2023-02-01. Retrieved 2023-02-11.
  16. ^ "With rebranding, BMO bank won't have a den for Hubert the Harris Lion". Chicago Sun-Times. February 15, 2023.
  17. ^ van Doorn, Philip (24 February 2012). "Illinois Banks: Strongest and Weakest". Retrieved 2012-09-27.
  18. ^ "Harris Bank Complex". Hines Interests. Archived from the original on 23 November 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  19. ^ Gores, Paul (December 10, 2018). "BMO Harris plans 50-story headquarters tower in downtown Chicago". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  20. ^ Daykin, Tom (November 16, 2017). "BMO Tower development starts in downtown Milwaukee with parking structure demolition". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved May 1, 2019.

External links edit