M&T Bank workers will be getting a pay raise.
The Buffalo-based bank said it will increase wages for all of its hourly workers and boost the starting pay to $14 to $16 an hour, depending on which market they work in.
M&T said the program to increase hourly wages will cost about $25 million once it is fully implemented.
M&T said it is "making these investments in anticipation of the improvement in after-tax income it expects to recognize as a result of federal tax reform."
M&T said the increased wages were a way to support sustainable growth and help the communities throughout upstate New York and the mid-Atlantic region where its branches are located.
"This is part of the company's thoughtfully considered and ongoing commitment to provide sustainable career paths and professional growth opportunities for all of its employees," the bank said in a statement.
The commitment to increased wages also comes at a time when the national labor market has tightened, making it harder for businesses to find qualified workers. In addition, many states, including New York, have increased their minimum wage, putting upward pressure on entry level wages. In upstate New York, the minimum wage increased to $10.40 an hour at the beginning of this year.
The bank also said that all of its employees would be granted up to 40 hours of paid time so they can participate in volunteer or employee resource group activities of their choice.
The bank also said it contributed $50 million last year to its M&T Charitable Foundation, which invests in civic, cultural, health and human services groups within its service territory. That $50 million contribution was the biggest annual donation in the company's history and accounted for more than 25 percent of the nearly $179 million that the bank has contributed to the foundation over the past 10 years.
"At M&T, we have a long tradition of working to be the best bank we can be for our employees, customers and communities. The success of our company is driven by the vitality of the communities in which we operate and our team's tireless commitment to excellence in all that they do," said René F. Jones, M&T's newly appointed chairman and CEO.