Press Releases

National Bank and IBM take the 'Connected to Your Business' trailer on the road

Montreal, 14 September 2004 -

National Bank and IBM are taking the “Connected to Your Business” trailer on a road show to help entrepreneurs see how they can manage their businesses more easily. The 58-foot trailer, stocked with sophisticated computer and multi-media equipment, will be stopping in a number of large cities in Quebec to enlighten SMEs about the benefits of Internet business solutions.

“As Quebec's leading bank, National Bank seeks to support the development and expansion of Quebec SMEs. Making good use of electronic business solutions can help entrepreneurs streamline their business management and reduce their operating costs significantly,” explained Tony Meti, Senior Vice-President, Commercial Banking and International.   “Visiting the trailer will give entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to learn about the National Bank's offering of e-business solutions. They will see for themselves just how using online services to pay suppliers, obtain financing and manage their payroll can improve their productivity,” he added.

“Thanks to the wireless modems integrated into IBM laptops, users can access the Internet anywhere, anytime, in complete security. IBM solutions give companies remote access to their inventory, suppliers, sales representatives and clients. These solutions allow for tighter control over the operating chain, which is a big plus,” added Martin Landry, Executive Director, IBM Financial Solutions.

Getting SMEs on board with e-business solutions
According to Éric Lacroix, Director, Strategic Monitoring at the Centre francophone d'informatisation des organisations (CEFRIO), “a recent survey by CEFRIO and SOM Léger Marketing showed that Quebec SMEs have been quick to embrace information technology and the Internet. Almost all companies have computers (96%) and 86% of them have Internet access.   Signing up for online business solutions, however, is still the next big frontier. Only half of all companies in Quebec use the Internet to do business with their suppliers and clients.  Integrating these systems and using them to the maximum will ultimately enhance performance and give entrepreneurs a competitive edge. This joint initiative by National Bank and IBM can certainly help Quebec entrepreneurs become more savvy with respect to e-business.”

The tour will begin on September 14 in Montreal where the trailer will depart from the National Bank's head office.   From there, it will travel to several regions in Quebec before ending its tour on October 15. At each stop, entrepreneurs will be invited to learn more about the National Bank's Internet banking solutions and a variety of IBM products.

The tour dates are as follows:

Montreal:                  September 13-14           
Quebec City:              September 30-October 1
Saint-Hyacinthe:        September 20-21           
Gatineau:                  October 4-5
Drummondville:         September 23-24           
Laval:                       October 13-14

A photo is available.

Caption
Stocked with state-of-the-art computer and multi-media equipment, the 58-foot “Connected to Your Business” trailer will be making stops in several large cities in Quebec to get entrepreneurs on board with Internet banking solutions.

About the National Bank of Canada
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 clients elsewhere in the world. The National Bank offers a full array of banking services, including retail, 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 assets of $84 billion and, together with its subsidiaries, employs close to 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.

About IBM
With some 5,500 employees in Québec, IBM provides products, services and expertise to help local companiesand organisations grow here and expand globally. Thanks to a diversified portfolio of activities in Québec such as the manufacturing of electronic components at the Bromont plant or consulting services provided by the IBM Business Consulting Services, IBM is by far the most committed Information Technology global leader in the province.

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

Denis Dubé
Manager, Public Relations Department
National Bank of Canada
Tel.: (514) 394-8644

Eva Boucher-Hartling
Public Relations and Media Specialist - Québec
IBM Canada
Tel.: (514) 938-6041