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BMO announces steps for racial justice, fill gaps impacting BIPOC

Last Updated Jul 13, 2020 at 1:01 pm PDT

The BMO office tower is shown in Toronto's financial district in Toronto on April 5, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Bank of Montreal is rolling out another set of initiatives aimed at combatting racial injustice

The bank is setting up a Black and Latino advisory council, and committing millions to various community initiatives

BMO came under fire for calling the police on an Indigenous girl and her grandfather trying to open an account

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — As calls for racial justice continue across the continent, a Canadian bank is rolling out a set of initiatives in pursuit of that cause.

Bank of Montreal announced the new measures Monday to address gaps impacting Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC).

Last December, the bank came under intense fire after staff at a Vancouver branch called the police on a 12-year-old Indigenous girl and her grandfather who wanted to open an account. Their arrest sparked protests, and condemnation from Mayor Kennedy Stewart and led to an apology from BMO President, Cameron Fowler.

That prompted BMO to create an Indigenous Advisory Council, and now, there will be a Black and Latino advisory council too.


The bank also has a five-year plan for meeting diversity goals ensuring those who are BIPOC can get hired by the bank, and rise through the ranks. It aims to have 40 per cent of student opportunities directed towards BIPOC youth going forward as well.

BMO is committing millions of dollars to various community initiatives, such as North American organizations focused on social and racial justice.

“Creating a more inclusive society is foundational to who we are as a company, and that includes removing impediments to career progression that disproportionately impact BIPOC employees across the financial services industry,” said Darryl White, chief executive officer. “It also means acknowledging existing gaps in representation, listening to the experiences of our employees, and working to dismantle systems that have not been equitable – both in our organization and in our communities.”