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BMO, BNP Paribas form cross-border partnership 

BMO and BNP Paribas have formed a long-term commercial finance agreement that allows commercial clients from both banks to utilize the combined global services. 

The new, trans-Atlantic partnership began as a result of BMO’s purchase of Bank of the West from former parent BNP Paribas, Dan Clark, head of vehicle and equipment finance at BMO, told Equipment Finance News. 

Bank of the West “had an agreement back and forth with their parent in Europe … that they would provide this,” Clark said. The combination of BMO’s “strong presence in all of North America, both Canada and the U.S., and [BNP’s] presence in Europe and Asia … can be a powerhouse. We pursued it and ended up signing an agreement with the closing of the Bank of the West on Feb. 1 to have a cross-border commercial agreement.” 

Collaboration for end-to-end financing 

The commercial agreement creates an equipment finance partnership between BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions and the BMO Vendor Finance. The collaboration will offer new and existing vendors access to end-to-end asset financing services, including floorplan financing, point-of-sale transactions and vendor leasing solutions, according to a BNP Paribas statement. 

Prior to the acquisition, San Francisco-based Bank of the West originated $1.7 billion in business volume in 2022 and $3.6 billion in managed assets, making it the 31st-largest equipment financier at yearend, according to the Monitor 100.
Milwaukee-based BMO Financial Group originated $4.8 billion in business volume in 2022 and $13.3 billion in managed assets, making it the 14th-largest equipment financier at yearend, according to the Monitor 100.  

“BMO is a top-five commercial business in North America and BNP is a leading bank in the Eurozone, so those two together, you figure you got real strength to grow from,” Clark said. “It gives us global coverage for our customers, we can provide solutions and support to boost sales and distribution networks of OEMs and dealers that have operations in various countries.” 

International regulation 

OEMs and dealers will have access to a global network but still will have to deal with international banking legislation, Clark said, noting the customer will “see some differences because of laws or regulations in different countries.  

“The general purpose of the origin of the agreement and future business should be very coordinated and easy for them to operate in and work with, across the countries that they do business with.” 

Commercial clients can continue to work with local representatives but will have access to members across the Atlantic, Clark said. 

“With us being in the U.S. and Canada and them being in Europe, it gives us those local solutions they can tailor to that local country or region, because, whether it’s in the U.S. or Canada, we’ve got global presence, and likewise, across all their platform, they have pros,” Clark said. “It’s taking the benefits of each of us in our own continents and putting it together.”