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Senators Markey, Blumenthal, Colleagues Demand M&T Bank Compensate Customers Affected by Conversion Failures

Government and Politics

September 23, 2022


Washington (September 23, 2022) — Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today joined his colleagues led by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in sending a letter to M&T Bank urging the company to financially compensate customers who were affected by conversion failures during the transition of People’s United Bank accounts to M&T accounts.

“We write to request that M&T Bank commit to financially compensate all customers who incurred fees as a result of missed credit card, utility, or other payments, due to M&T Bank’s mishandling of the acquisition of People’s United Bank,” the Senators wrote. “Additionally, all customers who were unable to access their funds during the conversion should receive some appropriate financial remuneration for the inconvenience, as well as an apology.”

Since the conversion at the beginning of September, new M&T customers have complained that they are not able to access their accounts, have endured long wait times and delays in payment processing, and did not receive adequate customer support. The Senators’ express deep concern about these issues and urge M&T to quickly resolve the complications.

“It is imperative that M&T act swiftly to comply with all laws, regulations, and regulatory expectations relied on during the acquisition approval process and that all customers be fairly compensated if they were negatively impacted as a result of M&T’s mishandling of the merger with People’s United Bank,” the Senators write.

The Federal Reserve approved M&T Bank’s acquisition of Bridgeport-based People’s United Financial, Inc. and People’s United Bank in May of 2022. Under the terms of the acquisition, M&T committed to having 1,000 employees in Bridgeport. Last week, the failed management of the conversion and lack of access to customer support for individuals and businesses has led Blumenthal to call on the Federal Reserve and CFBP to investigate this issue.

Joining Sentor Markey in signing the letter led by Senator Blumenthal are Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).  M&T has bank locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

A full copy of the letter can be found below.

Dear Mr. Jones,

We write to request that M&T Bank commit to financially compensate all customers who incurred fees as a result of missed credit card, utility, or other payments, due to M&T Bank’s mishandling of the acquisition of People’s United Bank. Additionally, all customers who were unable to access their funds during the conversion should receive some appropriate financial remuneration for the inconvenience, as well as an apology. We are profoundly troubled that this acquisition lacked sufficient coordination and resulted in complications for many individuals and businesses accessing their accounts and their funds.

These M&T and People’s United conversion failures may have violated consumer and financial compliance laws and regulations and further investigation into the matter will bring further clarity to the situation to help ensure future and continued compliance. Regardless, the execution of the acquisition was not in accordance with regulatory expectations when approvals were granted by the Federal Reserve and the Connecticut Department of Banking. Through the mismanagement of the conversion of People’s United Bank accounts to M&T accounts, existing customers, individuals and businesses, endured hours long wait times and delays in payment processing, were denied access to their accounts and funds, and did not receive adequate customer support. This demonstrates a severe lack of due diligence in the planning and a lack of resources devoted to the implementation of the acquisition.

While the execution of this merger began nearly two weeks ago, customers continue to be faced with complications that have arisen as a direct result of the problems encountered during the conversion process. It is imperative that M&T act swiftly to comply with all laws, regulations, and regulatory expectations relied on during the acquisition approval process and that all customers be fairly compensated if they were negatively impacted as a result of M&T’s mishandling of the merger with People’s United Bank.