M&T Bank has the green light to resume making acquisitions, after federal regulators on Thursday lifted a restriction in place for more than four years.
M&T has been blocked from dealmaking under a June 2013 "letter of agreement" between the bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Federal regulators said they had found "deficiencies" in the bank's anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act programs.
As a result, M&T made the required improvements, including an extensive review of its customers based on their transaction patterns. But it was waiting for regulators to assess the results of its work. When M&T released its second-quarter earnings last week, M&T's chief financial officer, Darren J. King, said he was confident the bank had fulfilled its obligations. That letter has now been lifted, an acknowledgement by the Federal Reserve that its requirements were met.
M&T's deal for New Jersey-based Hudson City Bancorp, which was completed in 2015, was in the works before the 2013 letter of agreement took effect.