Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, who blamed customer confusion after M&T Bank merged its account system with People’s United Bank, receives daily updates from the bank.
Tong met with M&T Bank Vice President Michael Keegan on Monday. Keegan heads the community market for the Buffalo-based bank, which in April he acquired Bridgeport-based People’s United.
M&T integrated two bank account systems over Labor Day weekend.
[ Connecticut Attorney General demands swift resolution to M&T Bank account disruptions; accuses bank of ‘serious lack of preparation’ ]
Tong said Monday that his office handled nearly 50 complaints last weekend alone, taking aim at unacceptably long wait times.
M&T has “appointed a president of the Connecticut portion of the bank, who will be responsible for responding to me, my staff and specific customer complaints as long as it takes time,” Tong said. .
US Senator Richard Blumenthal, who is running for re-election, called for a federal investigation into the matter on Friday.
In an interview Monday night, Keegan said the circumstances surrounding switching accounts have improved significantly since last week.
“We are in very different places,” Keegan said. “The branch is less crowded. People are experiencing a more normal time in terms of interacting with the branch. , call center hours are back to pre-merger levels, and we are very encouraged by that.”
Mr Tong also sought re-election, demanding that M&T take full responsibility for paying late fees and other charges if payments are delayed due to problems on M&T’s part.
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Keegan said M&T is still trying to determine how much the disruption has hurt its customers, and how it will be resolved will depend on the customer.
“The reality is, as we’ve seen, people who experience disruption may not have suffered the financial consequences of having their checks bounced or their check fees returned,” Keegan said. said.
Keegan said, “If we do something wrong and there is a cost, we have to get it right.”
Tong said there is no doubt that enforcement actions are being taken under federal as well as state consumer protection and banking laws. These could include fines, he said, Mr Tong.
But Tong said his main goal is to ensure M&T’s success and establish credibility in the new bank name, which has become one of Connecticut’s largest banks through its acquisition of People’s United. . People’s United had hundreds of thousands of consumer and business accounts in Connecticut. ”
“So the spirit of the meeting was firm and I said in no uncertain terms that I would hold them accountable,” Tong said. “At the same time, I said it in the spirit of helping make this situation better.”
Kenneth R. Gosselin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.