Across North America, BMO is working to level the playing field in underserved communities, creating the conditions for social sustainability and economic vitality. Using our financial resources and expertise, we work to lift up communities by providing the tools people need to develop financial resilience and establish the foundations for prosperity.
Social sustainability is about helping communities to be vibrant, growth-oriented places where everyone can fulfill their potential. By providing financial education and access to banking and credit for individuals who have too often been denied them, we lay the foundation for individual stability – home ownership, financial security, and thriving small businesses that help communities sustain themselves and create jobs. And because social supports are so crucial, we also provide funding to community partners through grants and sponsorships.
In the U.S., BMO Harris uses programs like I-Refi to help members of at-risk communities in Illinois keep their homes, and provides mortgages to thousands of qualified low-income home buyers every year. We also make available millions of dollars in credit for small businesses, which are an essential part of a community’s economic vitality. As well, our dedicated team members leverage their expertise in both accessing government funding and structuring financing to advance community projects in low- and moderate-income areas. Working with private industry and government and community partners, we have helped to build libraries and community centres that offer places to gather, learn and grow.
In Canada, BMO has been working in partnership with Indigenous communities for more than 26 years, supporting Indigenous self-sufficiency and prosperity. Through our network of branches servicing Indigenous customers on- and off- reserve, and financial education programs for Indigenous youth and elders, we provide improved access to financial products and services. To address structural issues that have been a barrier to home ownership on reserves, we offer our On-Reserve Housing Loan Program, which strengthens communities by providing stability and opportunities for continuity between generations. We also support the economic growth of Indigenous communities through trust services, investment management solutions and long-term financing for on-reserve infrastructure and business development. BMO has helped bring roads, sewers and water treatment facilities to remote communities, creating the conditions for sustainable and healthy neighbourhoods. Once those foundations are set, BMO helps communities take the next leap forward, financing new businesses and infrastructure, which provides places to come together, work, learn and play.
It’s not only in underserved neighbourhoods that social inequities create barriers to economic success. Historically, gender has been a barrier in every community. For decades, BMO has been deeply committed to supporting women entrepreneurs with capital allocated specifically for financing businesses owned by women. We are proud to act as change makers, investing in research, creating innovative educational platforms and sponsoring business-related conferences and seminars with a focus on Canada’s women entrepreneurs. Our involvement with organizations like GroYourBiz™ and the Women Presidents’ Organization provides a tangible way for BMO to connect our experience and knowledge with women business leaders and innovators.
On-Reserve Housing Loan Program without federal government assistance established in 110 Nations.
Under this program, BMO has made approximately $225 million available in loans.
$3 billion in capital over three years for Canadian businesses owned by women.*
*Beginning in 2018
100+ women honoured through BMO Celebrating Women.