Thu. Mar 30th, 2023


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Bank of the West, one of Colorado’s largest banks, now named BMO

2 min read

Bank of the West, one of Colorado’s largest banks with 68 branches, has officially rebranded as BMO following a change in ownership at the start of the month.

BMO, also known as Bank of Montreal and previously called BMO Harris, purchased the San Francisco-based Bank of the West, from BNP Paribas, a French multi-national bank in a deal valued at $16.3 billion. The combined companies will have more than 1,000 branches and 42,000 ATMs located in 32 U.S. states.

“BMO didn’t have a retail banking presence in Colorado but we did provide commercial banking services. Those will continue,” said Ernie Johannson, group head of North American Personal & Business Banking at BMO.

“We want to be part of the community and help it grow,” Johannson said, adding no branch closures or layoffs are planned in Colorado as a result of the acquisition, which is helping BMO gain a stronger foothold in a part of the country that is growing more rapidly.

Bank of the West had a 3.02% share for deposits in Colorado as of June 30, making it the fifth largest bank in the state, according to the FDIC Market Share report. The state’s largest banks are Wells Fargo, Chase, First Bank and U.S. Bank.

In November, BMO committed to spending $41.5 billion within underserved communities in its “Community Benefits Plan.” That includes $7.5 billion planned for home mortgage lending support, $16.5 billion in small business lending, and $17.5 billion in community development loans and investments.

Bank of the West entered Colorado in 2004 through its purchase of the parent of Community First National Bank, headquartered in Fargo, N.D. It added more branches with the purchase of Commercial Federal Bank, a thrift based in Omaha.

Johansson said one of BMO’s first steps in Colorado will be to make its presence known, starting with employees, customers and also the wider community, with an emphasis on providing greater access to underserved groups.

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