Bank of Montreal Looks to Expand U.S. Retail Banking

Bank of Montreal identified five U.S. Midwest markets in which to expand its U.S. consumer lender and build on its C$4.1 billion ($3.99 billion) takeover of Milwaukee-based lender Marshall & Ilsley Corp.

Canada’s fourth-largest lender said it’s looking to expand its Chicago-based BMO Harris Bank by building branches or pursuing small takeovers in downtown Chicago, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, according to a presentation on its website.

Bank of Montreal plans build on its July takeover of M&I, the largest acquisition in the company’s 195-year history. The Toronto-based bank is integrating M&I into its BMO Harris Bank consumer lending unit.

The bank will maintain branches in Phoenix and Florida, and may close or consolidate branches in Milwaukee, Madison, Wisconsin, and suburban Chicago, BMO Harris Bank Chief Executive Officer Mark Furlong said today in an investor presentation in Chicago. The bank said yesterday it’ll close 24 U.S. branches to eliminate overlap.

Bank of Montreal said it expects “at least” $400 million in cost savings from integrating the lender, up from an earlier target of $300 million. Expenses are down $180 million on an annualized basis, the bank said.

Bank of Montreal (BMO) rose 8 cents to C$54.80 at 12:19 p.m. trading in Toronto.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net

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