NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — M&T Bank will not charge consumer checking and saving fees or impose late charges on consumer and mortgage loan payments through October following its contentious merger with People’s United Bank.
In a letter to U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and four U.S. senators from Vermont and Massachusetts, M&T Bank’s chairman and chief executive officer apologized for the issues and said the bank “came up short for those who experienced issues.”
“For customers who were unable to access funds during the conversion, we will provide appropriate financial remuneration,” Jones wrote. “We have already begun to reimburse customers who have incurred late fees as a result of late credit card, utility, or other payments.”
Front line branch and call center staff have also been authorized to waive other fees as appropriate, Jones
On Sept. 23, the five senators demanded that M&T Bank compensate its customers.
“What M&T should do here, and we’re demanding it, is compensate consumers for all the costs, whether it’s late fees for credit cards or bills or the inconvenience of lack of access to their own money and information,” Blumenthal said last week.
In a joint statement Thursday, Blumenthal and the senators said: “M&T Bank’s commitment to compensate customers who were adversely impacted by the conversion – whether missing payments or denied access to their money — is a welcome step toward making things right.”
Jones wrote that, in total, one million new customers with over 1.7 million accounts were involved in the merger. Complaints about the integration represented about 0.6% of the converted customer base, according to Jones.
“We continue to proactively reach out to affected customers via phone and email if and when we suspect they may be having issues as a result of the conversion,” Jones wrote.
Earlier this month, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said he wanted answers from M&T Bank, warning that his office “will not hesitate to use the full extent of our authority to protect families and businesses.”
Tong’s letter to the bank came after his office has received “numerous complaints” from customers and employees.
M&T Bank bought People’s United Bank in 2021 for $8.3 billion.