M&T-People's United Conversion Issues Attract AG Scrutiny

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Dive briefs:

  • Connecticut Attorney General William Tong I called M&T Bank To resolve issues stemming from the People’s United account switch, it accused the bank of being “grossly unprepared” following reports that the move left some customers unable to access their online accounts.
  • The Buffalo, New York-based bank acquired People’s United in April for $7.6 billion and began converting Bridgeport, Connecticut-based People’s United accounts to M&T over Labor Day weekend.
  • The case also spurred Senator Richard Blumenthal (DC-CT) to call on federal regulators to investigate the bank’s handling of conversions. Reported by CT Insider.

Dive Insight:

“We share our customers’ anger over our lack of preparation for this transformation,” Tong said in a Wednesday letter to Michael Keegan, senior vice president and head of community markets at M&T. “M&T’s poor planning left Connecticut customers without timely access to their bank records, bill payment system, and money.”

Customers in Connecticut have spent hours waiting on hold and at branches trying to resolve issues that should have been addressed before the change, Tong wrote.

Delays have affected property closures and automatic payments, Tong added.

“As Connecticut consumers continue to experience growing customer service gaps, my office will not hesitate to use our authority to the fullest to protect families and businesses,” he wrote. increase.

In the letter, Tong requested a meeting at the bank and “immediate identification of a committed high-level individual” to act as the Attorney General’s point of contact to expedite resolution of the complaint.

Bank executives and the attorney general will be able to meet this week, a Tong spokesperson told CT Insider on Friday.

Blumenthal also intervened in the case, asking the Federal Reserve and the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency to review the bank’s conversion process and to ensure future compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. We asked M&T Bank to take the necessary enforcement actions. ”

M&T Bank said in a statement:We won’t stop working until all customer issues are resolved.

In a statement, M&T said, “We fully agree that we must continue to focus on lasers to serve our customers and improve their experience when first interacting with a new financial institution. ‘ said. “That’s why we were open with our customers before and during the conversion process. We know that we have fallen short of expectations and will not rest until all our customers are satisfied.”

The bank said it took steps to improve the customer service experience by adding staff to its Connecticut branch, enabling digital upgrades and extending call hours.

The bank said it has reduced the daily wait times on its phone lines over the past week and is actively reaching out to customers to activate their cards and accounts.

The latest merger-related issue to grab the attention of the Connecticut Attorney General is the bank’s handling of the recent conversion.

Tong wrote to M&T Bank last month expressing concern that M&T Bank had notified the Connecticut Department of Labor of the expected 747 layoffs as a result of the merger.

In response, the bank pledged to keep 1,959 Connecticut-based workers, or 72% of the People’s Union workforce, Tong detailed in a letter last week.

Mr Tong said the bank acknowledged that it had been notified that 747 employees could be sacked from their current positions, but that number could drop as M&T identified other opportunities. said to be sexual. However, that number was associated with possible job cuts in July 2021.

Friday’s Tong also said he was “equally” troubled by reports such as: People’s United employees were “technically ‘retained'” by M&T, but were in positions with significantly less pay.

“I’ve heard that people have been siphoned into Bridgeport from other Connecticut locations to meet Bridgeport’s employment commitments,” Tong wrote. I am dissatisfied with what is in

The Attorney General’s Office also received complaints that disconnected bankers had difficulty accessing information about COBRA’s health insurance and retirement benefits, Tong wrote.

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