BMO: Conversion and Migration of Bank of the West Customers

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21 March 2024

Winner of the 2024 Celent Model Bank Award for Integration Excellence


Bank of Montreal (BMO) completed the acquisition of Bank of the West in February 2023 and converted and migrated almost two million customer relationships in September. The core and digital platform integration was completed eight months after Legal Day 1 (first day of legal ownership) without significant production problems or delays. The customer and banker experiences were transitioned nearly seamlessly in the largest acquisition in Canadian banking history. The acquisition and conversion were critical steps toward BMO’s ambitious US growth goals.

Celent recognizes BMO as its 2024 Model Bank for Integration Excellence for the bank’s technical achievement in the accelerated conversion of an acquired bank and for best practices in migration and onboarding of the new customer base. The bank took a digital-first, customer-centric approach to deliver in a short timeframe while providing exemplary customer experience before and after the transition. These accomplishments stand out in the industry over the past several years of acquisition-driven conversions.

The case study highlights the dual aspects of this initiative: Conversion and integration excellence, and the high-quality customer experience delivered before, during, and after the migration date. This was the largest conversion in Canadian banking history and Celent recognizes the technical excellence required to pull it off.

(Above: One of the approaches taken by BMO was a digital-first customer messaging and support approach)

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