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M&T slims down after buying rival branches

M&T Bank Corp. is consolidating three more branches in Western New York following its acquisition in 2006 of 21 Citibank branches in Buffalo and Rochester.

The bank closed two offices last month and plans a third closure in about three weeks in Buffalo and its northern suburbs, to avoid duplication between M&T and Citibank offices that are too close together.

In all three cases, the Buffalo-based bank chose to keep the Citibank office and spent more than $500,000 each on renovations and other investments, for a total of more than $1.5 million, said M&T spokesman Chet Bridger. All employees were retained, and in most cases were simply combined into the consolidated office with the M&T branch staff.

The bank closed its office at 2443 Military Road on Oct. 5, combining its business with a former Citibank office a half-mile away at 880 Military Road. Bridger said the M&T lease was expiring in December, while the Citibank lease was good through 2026.

The branch at 2303 Delaware Ave., at the corner of Hertel Avenue, closed Oct. 12 in favor of an office directly across the street at 2310 Delaware Ave.

Finally, M&T's branch at 1308 Niagara Falls Boulevard will close Nov. 16. It will be consolidated with a former Citibank office directly across the street in the parking lot of the Boulevard Mall. M&T will gut and rebuild that office, adding more teller stations and expanding the lobby to add capacity.

M&T acquired the branches last year, including $1 billion in consumer and commercial deposits and $269 million in loans. The deal gave it another 60,000 households and businesses, and the top market share in both cities, although it may have since lost that position in Buffalo.

Still to come is a decision about the two branches located at Southgate Plaza in West Seneca. Bridger said officials haven't decided which to close. That will be the last closure related to the Citibank acquisition, he said.


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