BMO’s profit nearly doubles in Q2 as it sets aside less for bad loans

BMO Financial Group beat expectations as it reported its profit in its latest quarter nearly doubled compared with a year ago when the amount it set aside for bad loans soared at the start of the pandemic.

“This quarter, we continued to deliver very strong results with all of our businesses performing well,” BMO chief executive Darryl White said in a statement Wednesday.

“We are executing against a consistent, purpose-driven strategy – which for us means winning together with our customers, our communities, our employees and our shareholders.”

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The first of the big Canadian banks to report its second-quarter results said it earned $1.3 billion in net income or $1.91 per share, up from $689 million or $1.00 per share a year ago.

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The increase came as BMO’s total provision for credit losses fell to $60 million in its latest quarter compared with $1.1 billion in the same quarter last year when the pandemic brought the economy to a halt.

Revenue for the quarter ended April 30 totalled nearly $6.1 billion, up from almost $5.3 billion a year ago.

On an adjusted basis, BMO said it earned nearly $2.1 billion or $3.13 per share for the quarter, up from an adjusted profit of $715 million or $1.04 per share a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of $2.77 per share for the quarter, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

Last month, BMO announced a deal to sell its asset management business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) to Ameriprise Financial Inc. for $1.09 billion.

The companies also announced a new strategic relationship between BMO and Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Ameriprise’s global asset management business.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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