The Bank of Montreal was the originator of Canada’s branch banking system and never engaged in any undertaking that was financially beyond their means.
The bank established branches in the most important centers and avoided boomtowns. Employees were placed where needed, creating a flexible and well trained workforce. BMO became the fiscal agent of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The management and founders always were required to put up collateral in the form of securities and other financial instruments of equal value. The staff of the bank foresaw the coming 1929 crash, and there were no bank failures or depositor losses in Canada due to a strong branch system. Without a branch system, thousands of banks in the U.S went under. The times were so bad that for four days a banking holiday was declared. During this critical time, all banking operations in the country were suspended. Follow this bank as it set the tone and direction for all other Canadian banking institutions.