Bank of Montréal

The bank of Montréal is the 37th biggest bank in the world. It’s operated in the Caribbean since the late 1800s and was tied to British rule there and in Africa. According to Canadian Banks and Global Competitiveness, “in 1920, a substantial interest in the Colonial Bank was purchased [by the Bank of Montréal] to fill out the branch network and to provide representation in the West Indies and West Africa.”

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In the lead up to the 1910 – 17 Mexican Revolution the Bank of Montréal controlled half of all foreign exchange dealings in Mexico City and were close to much reviled dictator Porfirio Diaz. R.T. Naylor explained: “In 1908, the general manager of the Bank of Montréal returned from a reconnaissance mission to Mexico and announced that he was ‘particularly struck with the stability of the present Mexican government and the powerful character of the ministry’.” The Canadian banker argued that investing in Mexico was safer than Canada where there were growing calls for publicly owned utilities. During the Mexican Revolution, Bank of Montréal (as well as CIBC and the Canadian-owned Monterey Tramways, Light and Power Company) asked Washington to help protect its interests in Mexico.