Biz X Was There – Windsor BMO 149 Birthday
While Canada celebrates its 150th Birthday this year, BMO (Bank of Montreal) in Windsor had their own celebration on March 31st. The main branch of BMO (Windsor) at 200 Ouellette Avenue had a dress rehearsal of sorts for their own 150th birthday celebrations which will happen in 2018. And, BMO nationally, is celebrating its 200th birthday this year as Canada’s oldest banking institution. It’s been around 50 years longer than Canada has been a country!
Patrons at Windsor’s main branch were treated to cake, refreshments and special treats at the main branch that was festively decorated with balloons, streamers and memorabilia. Now 149 years old, the main branch at 200 Ouellette Avenue has remained at the same location for all these years.
Branch Manager, Tammy Faddoul, points out that “in its earliest days, BMO created their own currency – and that was perfectly legal”. And, closer to home, she points out another interesting little known fact: “fifty years ago, the main branch manager in Windsor was required to live in the apartment above the bank; one of the many security measures in place at the time.”
Established in 1817, BMO nationally has maintained the longest-running dividend payout record of any company in Canada. Employing close to 47,000 employees, it serves more than 12 million clients with a broad range of products and services. In its 200 years, it has established itself not only as a significant Canadian and North American financial presence, but is the first Canadian bank to establish branches abroad. Today, BMO is directly represented in Europe, Asia, South America and Australia.
Their three operating groups: Personal Banking, Wealth Management, and BMO Capital Markets are recognized as a pioneer in Aboriginal Banking and contribute close to 60 million dollars in corporate donations annually. It has been named one of the ‘Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada’ for 13 consecutive years by Corporate Knights. And more than 90% of BMO employees participate in the bank’s Employee Giving Campaign with donations of more than 18 million dollars to the United Way and other charities.
So, Biz X magazine sends out a big Happy 200th Birthday to BMO nationally, and a 149th. Happy Birthday to Windsor’s main branch! We count on you to be around for many more years to come. We can bank on that!
Feature photo: (l to r) – Jim Inglis, Tammy Faddoul (Branch Manager), Tina Truant, Denise Drouillard, Jessy Jeffrey, Alec Lauziere, Stephanie Cecile, Michael Virk.
Story and photos by Joe McParland