(Toronto) Bank of Montreal announced Wednesday that it has completed its $16.3 billion acquisition of Bank of the West, more than 13 months after the deal was first announced.
The bank said closing the deal brought it almost 1.8 million customers and 500 additional branches, which together with its current presence in the United States gives it a presence in 32 states.
Head of the North American retail and business banking group, Erminia Johannson, believes the deal gives the bank the scale it needs to compete and expand.
She notes that among other benefits, a larger company will help the bank better leverage its technology, while providing more opportunities to test products and offerings in different markets.
The deal comes amid increased regulatory scrutiny in the United States over acquisitions and the banking industry in general, but Mme Johannson argued that scale was important to respond to both competition and the changing regulatory environment.
The closing of the transaction also comes amid heightened concerns about the near-term economic situation amid rising interest rates and high inflation, but Mme Johannson said the bank was still confident the deal made sense.
“Yes, the market has changed, but it’s a long-term strategy, as well as a short-term strategy that plays against any changes in the economic environment that are happening. »
Heightened economic concerns prompted Canadian regulators to raise capital requirements for banks, prompting the Bank of Montreal to raise funds through both equity issues and a reinvestment program dividends.
Although there are many priorities to balance and manage, Mme Johannson recalled that the bank had had a year to prepare for the integration of Bank of the West.
” Do not mistake yourself. These are complex works. But we have planned it and we are ready for it. »