BMO and Canada’s Central Bank

The emergence of the Bank of Canada as the country’s central bank was a key moment in twentieth-century banking history. Canada was one of the last major North Atlantic countries to establish a central bank, since the need for one was hotly contested up until the mid-1930s. In other words: the banking system worked, so what was there to fix? As Canada’s first and most senior bank, as well as the government’s banker for decades, Bank of Montreal was a key protagonist in the debate, helping to ensure that existing institutions and systems that had served Canada well continued to do so.


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