Press Releases

National Bank launches the 11th edition of its recognition program: 'The SMEs of the National Bank'

Montreal, 13 April 2004 -

National Bank today launched the 11th edition of its recognition program "The SMEs of the National Bank", which gives companies an opportunity to distinguish themselves and showcase their success.

"The Bank is proud to continue this tradition which underscores the achievements of Quebec businesses," stated Tony Meti, Senior Vice-President – Commercial Banking and International. "Not only does this program afford excellent visibility to the winning companies, it also enables us to further strengthen our ties with all the business leaders who have shown their trust in us."

The program will be held in each of the National Bank's administrative regions in Quebec. Three companies will be chosen as provisional winners from among the regional finalists in the categories of Small Business (up to $3 million in sales), SME ($3 million to $25 million) and Agricultural SME (up to $25 million). The winner in the 4th category of Export SME (up to $25 million) will also be chosen. All candidates are initially screened by the professional services firm Samson Bélair/Deloitte & Touche and the winners are then selected by a jury of people associated with the business milieu.

Nominations are made in cooperation with the Bank's regional management personnel, who are asked to submit the names of business clients that stand out for their competence, dynamic approach and excellence in human resources management. The provincial winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on October 29, 2004.

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

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

The province-wide 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.

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 close to $81 billion in assets and, together with its subsidiaries, employs nearly 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