Bank of Montreal (BMO), Canada’s
fourth-largest bank, has reported first quarter net income of C$657
million ($623 million), almost three times the C$225 million earned
in the corresponding period last year.

Net earnings at BMO’s Canadian retail division
increased by 28 percent to C$403 million. The unit was boosted by
volume growth across most products and an improved net interest
margin of 2.86 percent, up from 2.62 percent a year ago.

Net income at the bank’s Personal and
Commercial unit in the US was C$16 million, down C$12 million or 43
percent from a year ago. In the US, revenues from improved loan
spreads were more than offset by decreased deposit spreads and an
increase in the impact of impaired loans.