Skip to main content

The Bank of Montreal building in Toronto on Aug. 29, 2017.Doug Ives/The Canadian Press

The fallout from a jarring sell-off at Archegos Capital Management has touched a major Canadian lender, as Bank of Montreal counted the fund as a client as recently as last week.

“Our exposure is immaterial,” BMO said in a statement, but a spokesperson declined to comment further.

According to a source familiar with the bank’s involvement, Archegos was a minor client at BMO’s prime brokerage and the bank closed its position last week without incurring any meaningful loss. BMO has no further exposure to Archegos, the source said.

The Globe and Mail is not identifying the source because they are not authorized to discuss the bank’s clients.

Cheap debt is fuelling trading bets. Archegos and Robinhood are proof it can backfire – spectacularly

Archegos is a family office run by former hedge fund manager Bill Hwang that managed about US$10-billion, but it collapsed when it was squeezed with margin calls from its lenders after using borrowed money to make huge bets on Chinese and U.S. stocks. The fallout has exposed major foreign banks such as Credit Suisse Group AG and Nomura to losses that could total billions of dollars.

BMO is one of several Canadian banks that offer prime brokerage services, which can include financing, margin lending and securities lending. Others appear to have avoided getting involved with Archegos.

Royal Bank of Canada spokesperson Sanam Heidary said the bank has “no direct holdings” related to Archegos, and Toronto-Dominion Bank spokesperson Mohammed Nakhooda said “we do not have any direct exposure to Archegos.”

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce spokesman Tom Wallis said the bank had “no involvement” with the fund. And a Bank of Nova Scotia spokesperson confirmed the bank had no exposure.

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.