April 5, 2016 / 9:32 PM / 2 years ago

CORRECTED-Bank of Montreal says not seeing rise in consumer delinquencies after oil slump

(Corrects to repeat without unrelated Fintrac alert that was inadvertently attached)

TORONTO, April 5 (Reuters) - Bank of Montreal’s chief executive said the lender was not seeing increases in delinquencies in its consumer loan book following the slump in oil prices and forecast struggling oil firms would restructure rather than fail.

“We’re not seeing increases in delinquencies yet. There’s likely salary continuation among laid off workers in the oil sector. There are many two-earner families. That sustains people in a downturn,” Bill Downe said in an interview after the bank’s annual meeting on Tuesday.

Downe said he expected consolidation in the industry as companies adapt to the lower oil price environment, rather than widespread failures.

“The story of the oil patch is much more a story of restructuring than it is one of failure and default. That means the strongest companies are going to buy weaker companies,” he said. (Reporting by John Tilak)

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