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BMO Financial Group today announced that BMO EMpower – BMO’s $5 billion, five-year commitment to advancing an inclusive economic recovery in the United States – has exceeded its early targets, with over $2 billion in commitments over the first 12 months of the program.
“I’m incredibly proud of our employees who have embraced this effort and substantially over- achieved our first-year goals. BMO EMpower has truly galvanized our workforce and brought to life our purpose of boldly growing the good in business and life,” said David Casper, U.S. CEO, BMO Financial Group. “While we’re very happy with the progress of BMO EMpower to date, there is still plenty more work to do.”
BMO marked the anniversary with a community event entitled “Accelerating Access to Capital: Building a More Inclusive Economy”. A wide variety of equity-related topics were discussed by a diverse group of community leaders, including senior representatives from Cleveland Avenue, The Chicago Community Trust, the Chicago Urban League, Chico & Nunes P.C., Loop Capital, We Rise Together, Hope Chicago, P33 and the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, all sharing their perspectives and strategies to create a more equitable society. A recording of the event will be made available on the BMO EMpower website.
Highlights of the first year of BMO EMpower include:
- A $25 million investment in the Bridge Workforce & Affordable Housing Fund, which is focused on community revitalization.
- A $20 million commitment to the NEF Emerging Minority Development Fund, which will provide equity capital to minority developers of affordable housing.
- A $10 million donation to the Rush University System for Health in Chicago to create the RUSH BMO Institute for Health Equity.
- The recent expansion of the BMO for Black and Latinx Small Business program throughout the bank’s U.S. footprint. Over $12 million in capital was allocated to over 300 small businesses in Illinois during the its pilot stage, and the success of the Black and Latinx program also led to the launch of the BMO for Women initiative throughout BMO’s U.S. footprint.
“When we launched BMO EMpower 12 months ago, we set out to address the very real barriers faced by minority communities, particularly related to access to capital and racial injustice,” added Eric Smith, Vice Chairman, BMO Harris Bank. “We will continue to focus on making a meaningful impact in traditionally underserved neighborhoods.”
About BMO Financial Group
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider – the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $971 billion as of July 31, 2021, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.