M&T Bank to invest $20M, upgrade data center

March 10, 2014 Updated Mar 10, 2014 at 12:25 PM EDT

By Allissa Kline, Buffalo Business First

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M&T Bank to invest $20M, upgrade data center

March 10, 2014 Updated Mar 10, 2014 at 12:25 PM EDT

M&T Bank Corp. plans to commission a "state-of-the-art data center" in Western New York later this year and spend more than $20 million to "substantially upgrade" its web- and mobile-banking capabilities, according to bank chairman and CEO Robert Wilmers.

In his annual message to shareholders, Wilmers said the Buffalo financial institution's new data center "will house terabytes of data equivalent of 400 times the books houses in the Library of Congress." Wilmers did not say where the bank plans to locate the center.

He added that M&T invested roughly $60 million in data centers in the past three years to meet current business needs and strengthen its back-up systems in case of disasters.

"To combat increasingly sophisticated cyber criminals, we continue to invest in upgrading our computer security systems to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of the data that our customers have entrusted with us," Wilmers said. "We have devoted time and resources in building an enterprise data warehouse and setting up a governance structure to manage data - work that will continue in 2014."

Wilmers' letter to shareholders is included in the bank's 2014 annual report. This year's letter covers several issues, including the bank's ongoing initiative to enhance its anti-money laundering compliance program in order to satisfy regulatory agencies.

Through the end of December, the bank spent $60 million on upgrading its compliance system and hired 285 employees and 151 non-staff consultants, Wilmers said.

M&T Bank is the largest deposit-holder in Western New York. Headquartered in Buffalo, it occupies 22 percent of the city's class A office space, Wilmers told shareholders.