M&T Bank Corp. has expanded its office space once again, leasing 22,000 square feet in the Larkin Center of Commerce building on Exchange Street.
The Buffalo-based bank moved more than 100 staff members into the new office space at 701 Seneca St. in August, as part of its effort to support the growth of the bank’s compliance division, said spokesman Chet Bridger.
M&T’s compliance division is being expanded significantly as the bank works to comply with heightened regulatory demands imposed on it earlier this year by the Federal Reserve, which have delayed M&T’s planned purchase of Hudson City Bancorp in New Jersey.
The Fed in April criticized the bank for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, citing inadequate procedures, systems and processes for preventing potential money-laundering or other criminal activity. The BSA and other anti-money laundering laws mandate that banks monitor and report suspicious account activity or other customer actions that could be a sign of illicit financing.
It did not find any evidence of wrongdoing by the bank or involving the bank, but the Fed’s findings forced M&T to delay its $3.7 billion acquisition to as late as January 2014, since the Fed would not approve a merger until the problems are addressed.
M&T signed a formal written agreement with the Fed in June that required it to submit a plan within 60 days to remedy the problems, including a new written program to ensure the bank identifies suspicious transactions or violations in a “timely, accurate and complete” manner. It also had to hire an independent consultant to review accounts and transactions of any high-risk customers at either M&T or subsidiary Wilmington Trust Co. from July 2012 through December 2012.
Bridger said the bank “continues to fill open positions” and currently has 513 jobs available in Western New York, ranging from senior-level technology positions to entry-level customer service and banking jobs.
As previously reported, the bank also recently leased some space in the Lafayette Court Building on Main Street for a group of about 10 employees from its central technology division.
M&T now occupies just shy of 1 million square feet of office space in the city where it was founded – 157 years ago on East Swan Street on Aug. 29, 1856.