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M&T Bank opens first N.J. branch Mortgage unit folded into bank

M&T Bank Corp. said Wednesday that it has opened its first office in New Jersey after receiving approval from state regulators.

The Buffalo-based banking company established its office in Palisades Park on Tuesday as a means of more fully serving the needs of many of its commercial customers who do business in New Jersey but are based in other states in which M&T offers services, primarily in the New York City and Philadelphia markets.

M&T has more than 650 branches in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia, so it already surrounds New Jersey.

The new branch offers a full range of products and services, but will focus on commercial banking for its small business, middle-market and commercial real estate customers. It can help business owners with personal banking needs, but is not seeking to target consumers at this time.

However, officials have said they hope it will help M&T capture some local business, and possibly lead to more offices. A second office is being considered in the Philadelphia suburbs as well.

"We're always hopeful for expansion and paying close attention to our customer needs," said spokeswoman Jean Hill. "It's a new area for us, but it only makes sense to fill the gap. It was a natural move."

Separately, the state-chartered bank also announced that it has folded M&T Mortgage Corp. into M&T Bank as of Jan. 1.

The administrative step will let M&T Mortgage be more effective and efficient in serving customers, as it will now be subject only to New York state regulation and examination, instead of oversight by regulators in the 22 states in which the mortgage unit does business. It also avoids the need for marketing separate brands.

"It makes it easier to run the operation and more efficient," spokesman Chet Bridger said.

The move does not affect terms and conditions or account numbers on customer mortgages.

e-mail: jepstein@buffnews.com

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