Bloomberg News

Bank of Montreal Adds C$10 Billion in Loans to Canada Firms

January 26, 2012

(Adds company comment in second, fifth paragraphs.)

Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of Montreal, Canada’s fourth- largest lender by assets, plans to boost loans to small businesses in the country by 26 percent, or C$10 billion ($10 billion), in the next three years to attract more customers.

“We’re sending a signal on all fronts that this is a great time for Canadian businesses to be investing for the future,” Frank Techar, head of personal and commercial banking at the Toronto-based company, said today in an interview.

Bank of Montreal had C$38 billion in loans to small and medium-size companies in Canada at the end of October, Techar said. The lender said in a statement that it’s extending credit to show its confidence in entrepreneurs as well as the Canadian economy.

“We also are hopeful that we’re going to strike a chord with our competitors’ customers as well,” Techar said. “We’d like to see a few more of them giving us a shot.”

The bank’s plans to increase loans to small businesses in Canada comes about six months after a similar move at its U.S. subsidiary. Last July, the company’s BMO Harris Bank unit offered an extra $5 billion in loans to small and medium-size U.S. businesses to gain customers after completing a C$4.1 billion takeover of Wisconsin-based lender Marshall & Ilsley Corp.

--Editors: Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam, Bob Brennan

To contact the reporter on this story: Doug Alexander in Toronto at dalexander3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net; David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net


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