Bank of Montreal to lay off 1000 staff

Bank of Montreal to lay off 1000 staff

Bank of Montreal is to cut 1000 jobs, representing three per cent of its workforce, and take a restructuring charge of C$135 million as it bids to streamline its back office administrative operations.

The job cuts at BMO - which employs 35,000 people - will primarily hit support staff including back office, administrative and technical support workers. Up to 250 jobs will be lost at BMO's Harris Bank subsidiary in Chicago, where the bank plans to close an unspecified number of its 200 bank branches.

BMO, which earned profits of more than $2.6 billion in fiscal 2006, says the restructuring follows a major review of its operations and the way the bank supports its front-line sales staff.

"BMO's biggest competitive advantage is our people so it is always tough to take decisions that result in job eliminations," says Tony Comper, BMO Financial Group's president and CEO. "However, we owe it to our customers, our employees and our shareholders to have lean, efficient support functions, simplified processes, fewer layers and to eliminate duplication across our enterprise."

The $135 million first quarter charge includes $117 million in severance costs.

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