The Bank of Montreal (French: Banque de Montréal pronounced: [bɑ̃k də mɔ̃ʁeal]), operating as BMO Financial Group and commonly shortened to BMO (/ˈbiːmoʊ/), is one of the Big Five banks in Canada. It is the fourth-largest bank in Canada by market capitalization and based on assets, and among the ten largest banks in North America.
On June 23, 1817, John Richardson and eight merchants signed the Articles of Association to establish the Bank of Montreal in a rented house in Montreal, Quebec. The bank officially began conducting business on November 3, 1817, making it Canada's oldest bank. BMO's Institution Number (or bank number) is 001. In Canada, the bank operates as BMO Bank of Montreal and has more than 900 branches, serving over seven million customers. The company also has substantial operations in the Chicago area and elsewhere in the United States, where it operates as BMO Harris Bank. BMO Capital Markets is BMO's investment and corporate banking division, while the wealth management division is branded as BMO Nesbitt Burns.
The company is ranked at number 131 on the Forbes Global 2000 list.
The company has not missed a dividend payment since 1829, paying dividends consistently through major world crises such as World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, and the 2008 financial crisis; this makes the Bank of Montreal's dividend payment history one of the longest in the world.