Magazine article American Banker

M&T Merging, Branch Opening

Magazine article American Banker

M&T Merging, Branch Opening

Article excerpt

M&T Bank Corp. of Buffalo announced Wednesday that it has merged M&T Mortgage Corp. into M&T Bank and, in what it called an unrelated move, opened its first New Jersey branch.

The $56 billion-asset company said the goal of the merger, which was done Jan. 1, was to trim marketing expenses.

Combining the mortgage unit with the bank "makes it easier for us to run the mortgage business, because we don't have to brand a separate mortgage corporation now," said Chet Bridger, a spokesman for M&T. "It doesn't have any effect on our employees; it doesn't have any effect on our customers."

There are other benefits, said Jacqueline Reeves, an analyst with BankAtlantic Bancorp Inc.'s Ryan Beck & Co. Inc. For instance, she said it will be easier for M&T to offer bank products to its mortgage customers.

"I think there are companies that look at that business separately, or put it in silos," Ms. Reeves said. "And then there are others that clearly try to cross-sell and add more products, because there's so much information you get from customers in the mortgage process."

Mr. Bridger said the consolidation should indeed allow M&T to sell more bank products to mortgage customers, but M&T will not take steps such as putting bank tellers in mortgage offices, she said. The company has mortgage offices in 22 states, including two in New Jersey.

The New Jersey branch, in Palisades Park, opened Tuesday. M&T's application to do banking in New Jersey was submitted in April and approved Dec. …

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