Attorney General Tong sends a letter warning that his office may use the “full scope” of his power against M&T Bank

HARTFORD, Connecticut (WTNH) – Connecticut Attorney General William Tong wants answers from M&T Bank after its controversial merger with People United Bank, warning that his office “will not hesitate to use the full scope of our power to protect families and businesses.”

Customers are impatient with long queues at branches and long wait times for the call center.

“I don’t have my debit cards, they didn’t come in the mail and said they would by 20, I can’t access my online statements, just waited over half an hour for checks to be deposited,” he said. M&T Bank customer Isabella O’Brien.

Some customers are unable to pay their bills because they do not have access to their accounts.

“I’ve been waiting so long, Tuesday night. I was like I was frozen and needed help. That my battery ran out on my landline. I’d have to deal with the overdraft fee I got, and they return the checks that weren’t,” said Agent Jane Dean of West Hartford. It’s supposed to be brought back, and all this will have to be dealt with later.”

Tong’s letter to the bank comes after his office received “numerous complaints” from customers and employees.

“I share with clients their anger at the serious lack of preparedness for this conversion,” says Tong’s message. “M&T’s poor planning costs Connecticut customers timely access to their bank records, bill payment systems, and money. Connecticut customers waste hours of time waiting and in branches trying to sort out issues that should have been addressed before the transfer. If Connecticut consumers persisted In trying extended gaps in customer service, my office will not hesitate to use the full scope of our power to protect families and businesses.”

M&T bought People’s United Bank in 2021 for $8.3 billion.

After another letter last year, the bank “made a series of commitments” to jobs in Connecticut, Bridgeport and its regional headquarters in Tarrytown, New York. Tong now wants more in-depth information to see if those promises have been kept.

“At the time, I noted that this was an important step forward after a series of mixed messages and confusion,” Tong wrote in the letter. “While I appreciate these commitments, I also indicated at the time that I would be watching closely to make sure your actions align with your written commitments to the local jobs and Connecticut communities.”

Tong had “previously noted the concern and concern about the massive expected job losses and potential economic damage to the city of Bridgeport and the state of Connecticut,” according to his letter.

In response, Tong wrote that the bank said it would retain 72% of People’s United Bank’s Connecticut workforce, which equates to 1,959 jobs. This includes a thousand people in Bridgeport. However, about 750 employees in Connecticut were warned that their jobs “could be fired.”

Since then, “complaints have not inspired trust,” with Tong noting that customers cannot access their online accounts, property closings may be delayed and customers face long wait times at branches and over the phone. Automatic payments were also affected. Employees also saw pay cuts.

The latest email was sent on Wednesday and addressed to Michael Keegan, the bank’s executive vice president and head of community markets. The speech begins with Tong expressing his “deep concern” about the merger of the Labor Day weekend.

“I respectfully request a meeting and the immediate identification of a high-ranking person designated to act as our point of contact to expedite the resolution of these serious complaints,” Tong wrote.

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