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Bank of Montreal Focused on Adding Market Share in U.S. Midwest

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March 27 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of Montreal, Canada’s fourth-largest lender by assets, is focused on building its U.S. consumer-lending business in the Midwest, executive Mark Furlong said.

“Our focus would be getting bigger in Indianapolis, Minneapolis, St. Louis and Kansas City, so that we can grow name recognition and grow share of market there,” Furlong, who oversees Chicago-based BMO Harris Bank, said today at a conference in Montreal hosted by National Bank Financial.

Bank of Montreal is expanding on its C$4.1 billion ($4 billion) takeover of Wisconsin lender Marshall & Ilsley Corp., which doubled the Toronto-based bank’s U.S. deposits and branches after the deal was completed in July 2011. The firm is concentrating on internal growth by opening more branches and increasing sales, Furlong said.

“Some of those markets I’ve mentioned we’ll have to do some acquisitions to augment what we have, but the focus is on the core business,” Furlong said.

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net; David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net

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