Report: #598942

Complaint Review: M And T Bank

  • Submitted: Sat, May 01, 2010
  • Updated: Fri, May 21, 2010
  • Reported By: Marilyn — Tonawanda New York United States of America
  • M And T Bank
    One M & T Plaza
    Buffalo, New York
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I  have gone to several sites, to review the complaints that consumers have, about M&T Bank. Many have to do with the fees associated with NSF and the manner in which they assess them. As well as venting online, my recommendation is to file a complaint with the Federal Reserve. This can be done online at their official site and is free of charge.

As someone who worked in the health care industry for over 30 years, any time consumer complaints were filed, with any government agency, the complaints had to be addressed by the hospital and were not taken lightly. In fact there was a lot of sweating involved whether we were at fault or not. Any response to a complaint is always time consuming and not pleasant. By reporting your concerns you can at least make them squirm a bit.

I know I have had it with this bank. They treat you as if you have never been in a bank, used a debit card or even know how to read a banking statement. If the first falls on Saturday or Sunday, I do not recieve my pension even though the monies are sitting there. 

As a former CITIBANK customer, who was bought out by M & T, I still mourn their loss.


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#1 Consumer Comment

"WHO OWNS THE FED POEM" is available at the....

AUTHOR: Karl - (USA)

BANK OF AMERICA page of this site.

*Anyone can 'Google' this- BROCK O'BOMB-A POEM, and that should take you to where it is posted, along with "SQUIDRACULA POEM".

Thank You
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#2 Consumer Comment

I checked it out myself...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

If the due date of the pension check falls on a weekend or a holiday, the money is not available until the following business day, so the bank did nothing wrong in that case.

Regardless of the fact that you are unhappy with M&T..I imagine Citibank had it's share of complaints as well, since they are also defendants in the lawsuits.

Most banks really never had these kinds of complaints until recent years. But at some point they discovered that when they used policies originally put in place to actually protect CHECK users as a courtesy, and subjected debit card users to these same policies,,that they struck oil. This is the "deluxe" recipe which when combined together, made the banks billions in profit..combine direct deposit, with automatic overdraft protection, with re-ordering transactions, with deceptive online statements, mix well..add a touch of human error, and bake at 40 billion degrees.

Using this "recipe", the banks collected 17 billion in 2007, nearly double that in 2008, and expect to bring in close to 40 billion in 2009. So it seems something must have been going on to cause over a doubling of these fees collected from 07 to 09. Who knows how much worse it could have got.

While Robert is correct that ACH transactions such as checks and auto pay are still subject to fees, this was always the case and always will be. If you use auto pay, or write a check, it is a commitment similar to cash, and you need to make sure the account can cover it. So while the policy changes regarding the debit card will not help anyone with a bounced check, at least if the account is overdrawn, if opted out and you were unaware you did not have the funds and go to use the will save a bundle in fees when the transaction is declined, and be given ample opportunity to figure out if it was an error, unauthorized hold or unauthorized charge that caused it before it is too late and hundreds more in fees are added in.

While Chase bank apparently will not re-sequence transactions anymore, many banks still will. There are customers that do not want this to continue, since it generally compounds fees and causes fees to be placed on transactions that did have the funds available at the time. We are hoping the lawsuits help change this, or more banks change this unscrupulous policy on their own. Otherwise once again, the Feds will have to step in.

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#3 Author of original report

Others get theirs

AUTHOR: Marilyn - (USA)

Gee that's funny. Other people, who also recieve pensions, get theirs directly deposited for Saturday. And my friend, who has a Tuesday payday, will have his check available the Saturday before a Monday holiday.  Different banks. Different rules. And with my bank they seem to change depending on who you talk to.
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#4 Author of original report

Thank you Robert

AUTHOR: Marilyn - (USA)

I appreciate your comments. But for me, I won't be using a debit card, check or a bank other than to cash my check. I will use money orders or pay my bills at a payment station. And if needed, I will use a credit card. It is costing me too much money.

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#5 Consumer Comment

A few things..

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

First the new "regulations" that being reported would not have helped, and will not help you.

They will only stop a Point of Sale or ATM transaction if you don't have the money available at that time.  They will not keep you from writing a check or submiting an ACH transaction.  So if you write a check on funds that are not available, when it gets submited to the bank they will still charge you overdraft fees and pay the check, or worse return the check UNPAID and then charge you a return check fee.  Also, if you make a debit transaction and you have the money available at that time.  But a check you previously wrote comes through that night and puts you into the negative.  You will also be hit with overdraft fees.

Now, you didn't give specifics but because Saturday, Sundays and Holidays are not banking days and you are having checks causing fees.  It appears that you are writing the checks BEFORE you had the money in the account in the hope to "float" funds.  That is hoping that the check will take 2-3 days before it gets cashed so that the money will be there when it does come through.  The problem is that the days of the "float" are long gone.

So the key here is to not even attempt to spend money that is not currently available in your account.  So do not write the check, swipe your debit card, or attempt to take money out of an ATM, unless you have the money available AT THAT TIME.  Because doing any of those things MAY cause you to be hit with overdraft fees.

One final thing is that moving your pension from Direct Deposit to check may not have been a good thing to do.  Because a Direct Deposit is generally available to you the next banking day.  But a check MAY be subject to extended holds which could cause additional delays in making the funds available to you. 


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#6 Author of original report

Thank you for your interest in my complaint

AUTHOR: Marilyn - (USA)

I was very pleased to see that people not only  read these posts but also respond to them.

When I spoke to the bank rep, regarding my overdraft fees close to 200 dollars, she told me that starting May 17th consumers can sign a form stating that  they do not want charges to be approved or funds taken if the funds are not available in that persons account. I have NEVER been able to withdraw funds, from an ATM, if the monies were not in my account but have had things paid, but only if they were under $50. But even an overdraft of 85 cents, and probably less, will accrue a 37 dollar charge. Although recently, when I did  have a payment kicked back, due to not getting my cash deposit in before the business day ended, I was told that they can deny payment if you have too many overdrafts. Guess they pick and choose what they will pay and not pay.

As for my pension check, I have stopped the direct deposit and will take my chances with the mail, keeping a small balance in the bank to enable me to cash the check until I decide who I want to do business with. I do agree that they should give me my money, since I recieve a letter every month stating the funds are to be available on the 1st. They were quick to blame the sender until I read them the  letter, at which point the truth was told that they do not dispense funds on nonbusiness banking days.

My overdraft fees, this time, were a result of a check and several ATM withdrawls coming in on the same day. Since they pay high to low they take advantage of charging people for the the other transactions.

As for my comment on CITIBANK, it should of read....I mourn MY loss.  I never had the problems with them I have with M&T.

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#7 Consumer Comment

Financial industry non-business days

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

In the financial industry, Saturday and Sundays are non business days, so of course you would not have access to your pension funds until Monday per banking regulations.

Your account agreement should contain a section in it that describes their funds availability.

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#8 Consumer Comment

Something strange...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

You stated "If the first falls on Saturday or Sunday, I do not recieve my pension even though the monies are sitting there."

If this is true you may have a case. I don't know if laws regarding this differ from state to state or if it is Federal which I believe, but normally something like a pension check should be paid the day BEFORE if the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or Federal Holiday. I would look into this.

As for how they are assessing fees, they are probably using similar tactics as many of the large banks do..which has ended them up in a class action lawsuit.

Some laws are changing soon, and some banks have already made changes on there own. Although Chase bank has their share of ethics issues and are also defendants in the lawsuit, they have made some changes recently that are very fair to free checking account customers who use the debit card. You might want to check them out since you apparently are not happy with your current banks policies.

Here is info regarding the lawsuit, which coincidentally CITIBANK is also a defendant, so perhaps it may apply to you. Either way, although it is the customers responsibility to keep an accurate account to help prevent an overdraft...this does not excuse the banks from taking advantage of honest mistakes and other factors that can cause an an overdraft, or additional fees applied due to bank manipulations, or the bank using techniques and trickery to encourage overdrafting.

Trust me, although it is suggested to report the bank to the Federal Reserve if they are doing anything can rest assured the Feds are WELL aware what has been going on with some banks, and are starting to act.

October 20, 2009 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

MIAMI--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Marking a substantial step forward in litigation over the banking industrys abusive and excessive overdraft fee policies and practices, plaintiffs' counsel announced that bank customers have filed a series of nationwide class action lawsuits against Bank of America, Wachovia, U.S. Bank, JPMorgan Chase and Citibank. The complaints were filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami, where all federal lawsuits brought against the banking industry for abusive overdraft fees have been coordinated before the Honorable James Lawrence King.

"The collection of excessive overdraft fees, usually around $35 per transaction, impacts millions of Americans each year and has become a multibillion-dollar profit center for the banks," explained lead plaintiffs counsel Bruce S. Rogow. "In many instances, these overdraft fees cost customers hundreds of dollars in a matter of days, or even hours, when they may be overdrawn by only a few dollars. Charging a $35 overdraft fee when a college student uses her debit card to buy a cup of coffee is unconscionable."

How Bank "Overdraft Protection" Works and Why the Abusive Collection of Overdraft Fees is a National Concern

Today, when customers open checking accounts, banks provide debit cards for the withdrawal of cash from ATM machines and the purchase of goods and services. Many bank customers are not aware that as part of the process of obtaining the debit card, banks automatically enroll their customers in "overdraft protection." The overdraft protection kicks in if the customer spends more than he or she has in the account to cover the purchase, up to a limit of a few hundred dollars.

Banks could simply decline to honor customer ATM or point-of-sale transactions if the account lacks sufficient funds, or could warn customers that if they go through with the transaction an overdraft fee will be assessed. In fact, until a few years ago, most banks simply declined debit transactions that would overdraw an account.

"Banks do not record charges and purchases on ATM or debit cards in the order they actually occur,"

stated plaintiffs counsel Michael W. Sobol of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP. "Instead, banks reorder the charges and purchases so that the largest charge or purchase is the first one paid by the bank. This manipulative practice is intentionally designed, the complaints allege, to maximize overdraft fee revenue."

"If you buy your kids a $15 meal at McDonalds on your debit card and your account was overdrawn, that lunch actually cost you $50," added Mr. Sobol. "The bank wont decline the debit transaction, nor will the bank tell you that you have overdrawn your account and is about to turn your $15 lunch into a $50 expense."

In 2007, banks collected more than $17 billion in overdraft fees. That number nearly doubled in 2008, as more and more consumers struggled to maintain positive checking account balances. In 2009, banks are expected to bring in up to $40 billion in overdraft charges from nearly 50 million customers.

"While all bank customers could have been affected, these overdraft fee policies disproportionately affect young people, the elderly and the poor, who are most likely to maintain low account balances," noted Mr. Rogow. "Moreover, these fees have the tendency to create a domino effect, resulting in even more fees."

Further Information for Bank Customers

Bank customers assessed overdraft fees who wish to learn more about this litigation should visit [] where they can submit their complaint to plaintiffs counsel.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Michael W. Sobol, [415-956-1000]
Bruce S. Rogow, [954-767-8909]

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