BMO Financial Group has reached a five-year, $40 billion agreement with community groups to facilitate its pending purchase of Bank of the West in San Francisco.
BMO Financial agreed to increase lending to lower-income and minority homeowners and increase small-business lending in underserved communities. The company also set aside $325 million for special-purpose credit programs.
BMO Harris Bank in Chicago agreed to keep open all Bank of the West’s branches open. BMO Harris will add five branches in underserved markets in California.
“We have a duty to continue addressing the barriers that disproportionately affect people of color and remain committed to creating more opportunities that achieve progress for all,” David Casper, BMO Financial’s U.S. CEO, said in a press release announcing the pact. The company is “committed to ongoing community engagement to realize the full potential of this plan.”
BMO Financial also pledged to improve the diversity of U.S. senior leadership, including a 60% target for women and a 30% target for people of color. No timeline was provided.
BMO Financial agreed in late 2021 to buy Bank of the West from BNP Paribas for $16.3 million in cash. The deal has been expected to close by the end of this year.