Being “first” in Canada has long been a source of pride for people at BMO. The line “Canada’s first bank” began appearing in the window of bank branches in 1950, and was adopted as the standard sign-off in our advertising.

In 1967, when the “M-bar” logo was launched, the tagline became an official part of the brand. Later, when a vibrant blue was adopted in place of green as the bank’s official colour, it immediately became known as “First Bank Blue.”

In 1975, Bank of Montreal became the principal tenants of a new 72-story office tower in the heart of Toronto’s financial district at the corner of King and Bay Streets. It was named First Bank Tower, and later changed to First Canadian Place.

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In 1868, Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust (F&C) was established on the principle that investors of moderate means should have equal access to the stock market. The London-based firm became the world’s first investment trust. F&C’s conviction for working in the best interest of their clients was just one of the values that made them a good fit for the BMO family. In 2014, BMO acquired the firm as part of a strategy to expand BMO Global Asset Management in Europe. At the time, F&C had 658 employees and £82 billion of assets under management. It was the second-largest acquisition in BMO history.

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A visually rich tribute to Canada’s first bank, A Vision Greater than Themselves: The Making of the Bank of Montreal, 1817-2017 by Laurence B. Mussio tells the compelling story of the bank from its origins to present day.

Visit the McGill Queen’s University Press site
to order your copy.

BMO is a presenting sponsor of the Montréal en Histoires project, celebrating the 375th anniversary of Montreal and BMO’s bicentennial. The sponsorship includes a variety of technology-driven projects and a mobile app.

Visit the Montréal en Histoires site to learn more.


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