follow the money
Posted by Reneé Alexander on November 25, 2009 10:31 AM
They were just two press releases, but they spoke volumes about the brands of two banks on both sides of the border: BMO Bank of Montreal, Canada’s fourth largest bank, reported earnings of $647 million Canadian ($1.11 per share), Tuesday morning, beating the Street’s expectations.
Just a couple of hours earlier, BMO announced it had purchased the North American Diners Club business from Citigroup for a purchase price so “insignificant” that it was not disclosed.
But it was meaningful enough to BMO: the deal more than doubles its corporate credit card business, adding $7.8 billion in US dollars in annual transactions, and net receivables of nearly $1 billion. Diners Club carries also a certain amount of cachet, since it was the first charge card to hit the US market in 1950.
The Diners Club deal, however, is a microcosm of the banking situation on both sides of the 49th parallel.Continue reading...