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M&T Bank marks 160 years amidst shifting local banking market

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Amidst upcoming changes in Buffalo's banking market, one of the city's longtime banks is marking an anniversary.

M&T hosted a 160th anniversary celebration outside its Main Street offices in downtown Buffalo Tuesday. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz presented proclamations marking the occasion, and Brown noted that City Hall's dome would be illuminated green Tuesday evening to honor the bank.

Poloncarz noted that M&T will be the last locally-founded bank in the city when First Niagara completes its exit in September.

"You look at all the change that has gone on in the banking industry in the last 30 to 40 years -  we're talking about banking disruption now because of the major changes that are happening in the Buffalo market - but if you look back in  phone book 30 years ago and you see all the banks that were Buffalo based, there's one left," Poloncarz said.

There is another Western New York based banking company, Evans Bancorp, which hosts ATMs in Buffalo but is headquartered in Hamburg.

First Niagara, which was acquired by KeyCorp, is transferring a majority of its customer accounts to KeyBank. Some, though, are being transferred to Northwest Savings Bank.   

M&T president Mark Czarnecki was asked about how his bank has positioned itself amidst the shifting market.

"It's a people-centered business," he said. "It's hard to keep scaling it and building it, but we did it for 2017 so we think we can take it further."

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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