CHICAGO, March 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ - BMO Harris Bank today announced new measures to help consumers, small businesses, commercial clients, communities and team members experiencing financial pressures as a result of COVID-19.
"Our collective charge at BMO is to keep our employees safe so we can support our clients who are keeping commerce flowing during this unprecedented time," said David Casper, U.S. CEO, BMO Financial Group.
Consumers and Small Businesses
For those who qualify, BMO's hardship program for consumer and small business customers may include payment deferrals on credit cards, mortgages, home equity, auto, personal and small business loans for up to three months; fee waivers for checking and savings accounts for up to two months; and removing penalties associated with early CD withdrawal. The bank has paused foreclosure and repossession actions for consumers with COVID-19 related circumstances. This pause also applies to loans secured by real estate made by BMO's small business team. Customers who are taking advantage of relief options offered by the bank for loans and credit cards will not have their credit negatively reported as a result.
Customers can contact the bank through one of several channels to seek hardship assistance, including BMOHarris.com, where the bank has created an online relief form to request assistance. Customers can also access BMO Digital Banking and BMO's more than 40,000 ATMs to access funds and conduct transactions. These tools are easy to use and provide complete access 24/7.
BMO is working with commercial and capital markets clients on a one-on-one basis, and has introduced tailored relief programs, which may include payment deferrals on loans, lines of credit and access to additional working capital. BMO, which has a strong liquidity position and is committed to continuing to provide access to capital, continues to offer clients one-on-one advice on business plans and options to overcome liquidity concerns. BMO's Transportation Finance business, the largest bank financier of trucks and trailers in North America, also continues to address the specific issues of this critical part of the economy with a focus on keeping trucks on the road and commerce flowing.
As a preferred lender with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), BMO will continue to help its small business, commercial and transportation finance clients navigate the SBA programs available, including those in the federal relief package. Details about how the loan program will work will be announced by the SBA soon, and BMO will start accepting applications from existing clients shortly thereafter.
BMO's wealth management professionals are working with clients remotely, providing advice related to their planning, banking, investment and estate and trust administration needs. Furthermore, the team's investment strategists are providing clients with ongoing updates through teleconferences and written publications, keeping them apprised of developments and providing guidance on market impact, as well as perspectives on cash deployment strategies in a rapidly-changing market environment.
BMO Harris has pledged up to $500,000 to support crisis relief efforts in areas of immediate community need. This commitment includes:
- $250,000 to the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund
- $100,000 to United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County's COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund
- $50,000 to United Way of Dane County's COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery Fund
- Additional support for non-profits and community groups
These donations are on top of the $10 million donation BMO announced last fall through the United Way of Metro Chicago's Neighborhood Network to support Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's INVEST South/West Program, which was created to tackle economic disparity in the city. BMO has a long history of supporting their communities across North America.
Furthermore, BMO Financial Group recently pledged $1 million to the United Way to support crisis relief efforts in areas of immediate need in communities across Canada. In 2019, BMO announced its Purpose to "Boldly Grow the Good in Business and Life" by doubling its commitments to a sustainable future, thriving economies and an inclusive society.
As our team members continue to serve our customers and communities, we recognize the exceptional work they are doing to provide a core service. We will sustain onsite staffing for critical operations in ways that strive to keep everyone safe. All bank sites are practicing social distancing, along with precautions to ensure frequent hand washing. We are providing access to medical information through virtual apps for employees and Q&A with medical advisors.
BMO is also providing a stipend of $50 per day to certain employees working onsite to help them manage additional expenses. We continue to pay employees that are at home, in quarantine, or working from home, or if their branch is closed.
Additional Information and Actions
Today's announcement builds upon BMO's earlier commitment to support customers, communities and team members through this period of uncertainty. The bank continues to monitor employee and customer needs, guidance from public health officials and federal and local policy decisions in response to COVID-19. The latest information, including the status of branch operations, can be found on the bank's COVID-19 webpage.
About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through more than 500 branches and fee-free access to over 40,000 ATMs across the United States. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the United States. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, visit the company fact sheet. Accounts are subject to approval. BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a highly diversified financial services provider with total assets of CDN$880 billion, as of January 31, 2020.
SOURCE BMO Harris Bank