Harris Bank announced Thursday that it plans to buy Century Bank in Scottsdale, Ariz., for $16 million.

The deal is part of $28 billion-asset Harris Bank's strategy to expand its private banking services into high-growth, affluent urban markets in the United States, said William Down, vice chairman at Bank of Montreal, which owns Harris.

In 1999 alone Bank of Montreal's private client group, which oversees all of the parent's U.S. and Canadian wealth management services, made $170 million worth of acquisitions in affluent areas, including Seattle and Naples, Fla.

Mr. Williams said $61 million- asset Century was particularly appealing to Harris because it is a respected bank with a high concentration of clients in an area where Harris is established.

Century's three branches would become part of Harris Trust Bank of Arizona, which has five branches. John Coates, Century's chairman since 1997, when he helped found the bank, is to join the Harris Trust Bank of Arizona board of directors upon the completion of the deal.

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