BMO announces relief program for prairie farmers

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Just a day after the Saskatchewan government called on financial institutions to be flexible with producers, the BMO Bank of Montreal has announced a financial relief program for prairie farmers.

On Wednesday, Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart wrote to all financial institutions in Saskatchewan to urge them to be flexible with their agriculture clients facing cash flow issues due to the slow movement of grain this winter.

“Last year’s record crop production is testing the limits of the grain handling and transportation system and causing cash flow concerns for farmers,” Stewart said. “I encourage financial institutions to work with producers regarding cash flow requirements and be flexible with loan repayments.”

Factors beyond the control of producers have prevented Saskatchewan farmers from moving much of the 38.4 million tonne record crop which was harvested in the fall.

The BMO Bank of Montreal financial relief program will assist their commercial customers in Western Canada.

"We want to provide immediate support to any grain producers and other related businesses that may be experiencing cash flow disruptions as a result of the backlog, which can hamper their ability to finance crop expenses for the up-coming season," said Steve Murphy, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. "We stand by our customers in good times and bad times and hope this program will help to alleviate some challenges."

The program includes:

- Deferral of loan payments

- Waiver of a new loan application and concessions on renewal fees

- Flexible terms on existing and new lines of credit for 2014 are being developed on a case-by-case basis

For further information, BMO customers are encouraged to visit a local BMO branch, or call 1-877 CALL BMO (225-5266), or visit www.bmo.com.

Organizations: BMO, BMO Bank of Montreal

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Western Canada

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