Problems for M&T/People’s Bank Merger Escalate as Connecticut Attorney General Gets Involved

The uproar on social media and complaints filed with regulatory agencies about the M&T/People’s merger fiasco has been so loud that the Attorney General for the State of Connecticut has become involved.

People’s United customers have endured long waits at branch offices, inability to access their accounts, ridiculously long hold times when calling the bank, and a litany of other problems.  Despite the  misery, confusion, and huge amounts of wasted time for customers, M&T has served up nothing but a cold dish of excuses for recompense.

M&T Bank would not even provide an answer to how many customers had serious problems with the merger – are they hiding the facts, or do they just not know?  Either way this is an unsatisfactory response.  In addition, Bank Spokesman Mike Keagan said that recompense for customers impacted financially would be looked at on a “case by case basis”.  My translation of this response to customers is “no, we don’t care” – please prove me wrong.

From the Connecticut Insider

The office of the state’s attorney general is looking into concerns related to the conversion of People’s United bank accounts to M&T Bank, labeling the preparatory work as a “serious lack of preparation” that left Connecticut customers in the lurch in paying bills on time through automated debit accounts.

Attorney General William Tong wrote to M&T Bank to “express deep concern regarding complaints my office has received from numerous consumers and employees” regarding the conversion. Complaints fielded by his office ranged from customers’ inability to access banking records and their own money to severed employees being “denied access to timely information regarding COBRA health benefits, severance payments, vacation payouts” and more.

“Connecticut customers wasted hours of time on hold and in branches trying to sort out problems that should have been addressed prior to the conversion,” Tong wrote M&T on Wednesday. “Should Connecticut consumers continue to experience extended gaps in customer service, my office will not hesitate to use the full extent of our authority to protect families and businesses.”

After acquiring Bridgeport-based People’s United Financial last April, M&T Bank converted People’s United systems to its own over the Labor Day weekend. Since then, customers have posted hundreds of complaints of problems with accessing their accounts through online channels, and long waits for help via call centers and in branches. One issue included those struggling to access their account due in part to a technical issue resulting from the use of special characters in account names.

“We haven’t been able to access our accounts since last Wednesday and I’m told that our ‘profile’ has totally disappeared, and we will have to open new accounts which may take a week or more,” stated Adrienne Farrar Houël, CEO of Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises, in an email to CTInsider. “The manager calls the back office and has to hang on for more than an hour only to be told that they will call back or that she should call back. I’m still mad as hell and still don’t have our company accounts up and running.”

Pouring salt into the wounds of People’s United customers, the M&T CFO Darren King made this incomprehensibly stupefying remark on Wednesday at an investor conference: “the company is pleased with how things are going”.

Mr. Darren may change his tune once the Connecticut GA investigates this matter.

Aggrieved customers can file their complaints with the Connecticut Attorney General at