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MONROE SAVINGS DECLARED INSOLVENT; M&T BUYS ITS DEPOSITS, MOST ASSETS

M&T Bank Friday purchased for $7.2 million all of the deposits and most of the assets of the troubled Rochester-based Monroe Savings Bank.

The agreement was made with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which at 4 p.m. Friday was appointed the federally-regulated savings bank's receiver by the Office of Thrift Supervision. Monroe Savings at that time was declared insolvent, meaning its liabilities were worth more than its assets.

"We very much wanted to get into the Rochester-Monroe County area; it's a natural expansion to our nearest metropolitan area," said Gary Paul, a senior vice president with both Buffalo-based M&T and its parent, First Empire State Corp.

Monroe Savings's 11 branches in Monroe County will operate as M&T's Monroe Division, with all accounts automatically transferred to M&T. M&T's closest office to Rochester prior to the takeover was in Batavia.

M&T purchased $485.7 million worth of deposits kept in some 88,000 accounts, and $441 million of the institution's $520 million in assets. The assets not acquired were bad loans made by Monroe Savings in the Southwest, Paul said.

"We were allowed to go in and perform due diligence on (inspect) Monroe's books," said Paul. "We are satisfied that the remaining loans made prior to Sept. 30, 1989 are in good shape. Our agreement with the FDIC is that if any loan goes bad which was made after Sept. 30, we do have recourse to the FDIC."

Paul said that the FDIC had put Monroe Savings out to bid about one month ago, and that bids had to be submitted by this past Tuesday. M&T was not the only bidder on the package, but Paul would not say how many and who the other bidders were.

All former Monroe Savings' offices regularly scheduled to open today will do so; the remainder will open for business as usual Monday.

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