The Bank of Montreal was founded in 1817, making it Canada’s oldest incorporated bank. From its founding to the creation of the Bank of Canada in 1935, the Bank of Montreal served as Canada’s central bank. On June 23, 1817, John Richardson and eight merchants including John Forsyth signed the Articles of Association to establish the Bank of Montreal in Montreal, Quebec. The bank officially began conducting business on November 3, 1817, making it Canada’s oldest bank. BMO’sInstitution Number (or bank number) is 001.
The Bank of montreal was originally Owned By mostly Scottish Loyalist fur traders. Who belonged to the beaver club. In 18th century North America, the fur ‘barons’ of Montreal might only have been compared to the tobacco ‘lords’ of Virginia for their wealth and grand style of living. the Beaver Club was holding its fortnightly dinners in the newly rebuilt Mansion House Hotel (later the Masonic Hall) In montreal. Several of the men connected with the Bank of Montreal, including John Richardson and his partner, John Forsyth, were members of the club, and at one period George Moffatt served as secretary.
the fur trade continued to produce substantial revenues after 1804, when the warring factions representing the original North West Company, led by McTavish, McGillivrays & Co., and the XY or New North West Company, led by Sir Alexander Mackenzie and Forsyth, Richardson & Co., were reunited after five years of ruinous competition. Old business rivalries and differences had been reconciled, and the trade itself had been changed from a loose alliance of swashbuckling wintering partners and their mercantile providers into a highly centralized operation under William McGillivray, in which, however, Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Forsyth-Richardson, the McGills, and the relatively new firm of Parker, Gerrard & Ogilvy, all retained an interest. a second generation of Scottish clerks and apprentices had appeared. merchant-traders as Abel Bellows, Horatio Gates, Charles Bancroft, George Platt, Zabdiel Thayer and others. Most of them were engaged in the Vermont trade and many would later participate in the founding of the Bank of Montreal. Horatio Gates American general during the Revolutionary War and Templar Freemason “have been established to make clear the crucial role that only he could have played in the establishment of the Montreal Bank. What we do not know and never will know in all probability is whether it was Richardson who sought out Gates or Gates who volunteered to co-operate with Richardsan. Canada’s banking system was essentially the idea of one man – the Honourable John Richardson.
In the United State There, by 1808, banking based on specie capital and mercantile credit had been in successful operation for many years and had proved its worth by profitable operations which had been of immense value in promoting prosperity and stabilizing financial conditions in the Republic. It was to this system, developed largely by Alexander Hamilton, that John Richardson turned for the model of the Canada Banking Company, the Bank of Lower-Canada, and finally the Bank of Montreal.
it is not surprising that Canadian men of affairs should have been impressed by the striking changes brought about in the fortunes of the United States by the financial policies of Alexander Hamilton. Moreover, John Richardson, as an employee of an important English mercantile house in New York which somehow survived the Revolution, had been a resident of that city during the period of the great monetary, financial, and fiscal discussions which led to the founding of the Bank of North America in 1781 and the Bank of New York and the Massachusetts Bank (Boston) in 1784. Since the articles of association of the Bank of New York, 1784, the charter of the Massachusetts Bank, and the proposal for the Canada Banking Company, 1792, are virtually identical, Alexander Hamilton as its first Secretary of the treasury. In order to assist his many reforms, Hamilton proposed, as the principal instrument of his fiscal policies, the creation of a bank, founded under a national charter, which would bear much the same relation to the United States government as had the Bank of England to the English government for almost a hundred years. Specifically, the bank would be the financial agent of the government, which would hold shares in it, but it would be managed by directors elected from among the private shareholders.
It was an idea he had cherished and promoted for a quarter of a century.
As early as 1780, Alexander Hamilton had urged the establishment of a “national” bank.
Hamilton envisaged a great federally chartered trading and banking corporation under private management but with government participation and partial government control, which would unite the moneyed classes of the country in the support of government credit, and manage the currency on sound banking principles. The first American bank to maintain convertibility at all times was enormously successful in its purpose.