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What does BMO stand for?

Oct. 9, 2012

Today is the day that all M&I Bank branches officially become re-branded as BMO Harris Bank. So what does the BMO stand for?

Officially, the name - which is pronounced as "BEE-mo," not as "Bee-Em-Oh" - is no longer an acronym for anything. Instead, BMO is short for BMO Financial Group, the Canada-based parent company of BMO Harris Bank. BMO also serves as the company's stock ticker on the New York Stock Exchange.

BMO started out life in 1817 as the Bank of Montreal, so the letters are derived from the bank's original name.

BMO Financial Group bought M&I in July 2011. BMO then combined M&I with Harris Bank, a banking system the group had acquired in 1984, to create BMO Harris Bank. As a whole, BMO Financial Group has total assets of $542 billion and employs more than 46,000 people.

Once the re-branding is complete, there will officially be 208 BMO Harris Bank branches in Wisconsin and more than 600 throughout the U.S.

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