National Bank of Canada intends to name Jean Douville as its next Chairman of the Board

Montreal, 22 January 2004 - 

National Bank of Canada today announced that its Board of Directors intends to name Jean Douville as its next Chairman after André Bérard steps down on March 10, 2004 at the Annual Meeting of the Bank. The appointment of Mr. Douville is subject to his re-election as a director by the shareholders at the Annual Meeting.

A lawyer and businessman, Mr. Douville is Chairman of the Board of UAP Inc., a firm specialized in the distribution and remanufacturing of automotive parts and replacement accessories for cars, trucks and industrial machinery. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer of UAP for more than 20 years. Mr. Douville has been a member of the Board of the Bank since 1991 and is Chair of the Conduct Review and Corporate Governance Committee. He also chaired the Audit and Risk Management Committee for two years. Recognized for his integrity, Mr. Douville serves on the boards of various Canadian and U.S. companies.

Several months ago, the Board of the Bank mandated an Ad Hoc Nominating Committee to make recommendations regarding the choice of the Chairman of the Board. At its meeting this morning, the Board ratified the nomination of Mr. Douville on the recommendation of the Committee.

Mr. Douville will succeed André Bérard, who has been a director since July 1985. Mr. Bérard was President and Chief Executive Officer from July 1989 to March 2002, and was appointed Chairman of the Board in 1990.

About the National Bank

National Bank of Canada is an integrated group which provides comprehensive financial services to consumers, small and medium-sized enterprises and large corporations in its core market, while offering specialized services to its customers elsewhere in the world. The National Bank offers a full array of banking services, including corporate and investment banking. It is an active player on international capital markets and, through its subsidiaries, is involved in securities brokerage, insurance and wealth management, as well as mutual fund and retirement plan management. The National Bank has more than $82 billion in assets and, together with its subsidiaries, employs over 17,000 people. The Bank's securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (NA: TSX). For more information, visit the Bank's website at www.nbc.ca.

Information : (the telephone number and e-mail address provided below are for the exclusive use of journalists and other media representatives.)

Denis Dubé
Director – Public Relations
National Bank of Canada
Tel.: (514) 394-8644
E-mail: denis.dube@nbc.ca