National Bank launches the 9th edition of its recognition program: "The SMEs of the National Bank"

Montreal, 11 April 2002 - 

The National Bank today launched the ninth edition of its recognition program "The SMEs of the National Bank."

This program recognizes the exceptional performance of the Bank's business clientele in all regions of Quebec and all sectors of economic activity.

In each of the National Bank's 14 regions in Quebec, three companies are chosen to participate in the province-wide finals, one in each of the following categories: Small Business (up to $3 million in sales), SME (between $3 million and $25 million) and Agricultural SME (up to $25 million in sales). The Export SME category (up to $25 million in sales) recognizes companies that have distinguished themselves in the area of exports. Chosen from all the nominations received from the 14 regions, one company will be crowned the provincial winner this coming fall.

Nominations are made in cooperation with the Bank's regional management personnel, who are asked to submit the names of business clients known for their competence, dynamic approach and excellence in human resource management.

Once again this year, the National Bank is proud to be able to count on the invaluable support of such partners as IBM Canada, Samson Bélair/Deloitte & Touche, the French television network TVA, dailies La Presse, Le Soleil, Le Nouvelliste, Le Droit, La Tribune, Le Quotidien and La Voix de l'Est, as well as National Bank Insurance.

The provincial winners will benefit from extensive media coverage in print and on the television. They will also be showcased in a special report on their business as part of the television program Distinction PME to be broadcast on the TVA network.

The three provincial winners in the Small Business, SME and Agricultural SME categories will also win a pair of round-trip airline tickets from Montreal to Paris, while the winner in the Export SME category will receive $5,000 in airline tickets, compliments of National Bank Financial.

National Bank of Canada is an integrated group that provides comprehensive financial services to consumers, small and medium-sized enterprises and large corporations in its core market, while offering specialized services to its clients elsewhere in the world.  The National Bank has assets of over $75 billion and, together with its subsidiaries, it employs some 17,000 people.  The Bank's shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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Information: Carole Gagné
Senior Manager
Public Relations Department
National Bank of Canada
(514) 394-6991
* The telephone number and e-mail address are for the exclusive use of journalists and other media representatives.