Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

BMO's first quarter capital markets results point to partial rebound

A Bank of Montreal sign is pictured in downtown Ottawa March 3, 2009.


Bank of Montreal's results from its capital markets division point to a tepid first quarter from Canada's securities business.

BMO is the first of the big Canadian banks to report results for the period ending Jan. 31, and its investment banking and trading unit managed to increase earnings from the weak fourth quarter. However, business didn't keep pace with activity in the first quarter of last year, and the firm is taking a restructuring charge as it cuts costs to deal with a slowdown in deals.

From the first quarter of last year, net income in capital markets fell $62-million, or 24 per cent, to $198-million. Investment and corporate banking revenue fell by 29 per cent to $259-million while trading revenue fell 14 per cent to $513-million.

Story continues below advertisement

With business looking slower for some time, BMO is trimming its ranks and said it is focused on expense control.

The capital markets business is cutting about 60 people out of a staff of about 2,300, so it's hardly a large swing of the axe. Still, BMO said it will take a charge of about $68-million, in all likelihood to cover severance payments to the people let go.

"While we are focusing on expense management, including executing on a restructuring to align BMO Capital Markets' cost structure with the current and future business environment, we remain committed to our North American platform in support of our strategy," the bank said in its earnings release.

The bank said that it is seeing some positive signs in deal activity, especially in its home market of Canada.

Report an error
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at