M&T still filling jobs by the hundreds

July 25, 2014 Updated Jul 25, 2014 at 3:10 AM EDT

By Allissa Kline, Buffalo Business First Reporter

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M&T still filling jobs by the hundreds

July 25, 2014 Updated Jul 25, 2014 at 3:10 AM EDT

A steady uptick in business and an ongoing increase in regulatory requirements are creating employment opportunities at M&T Bank, resulting in hundreds of open jobs across the Buffalo-headquartered bank's footprint.

The region's largest bank has 663 jobs open right now and nearly half of those positions - 328 - are based in Western New York. The jobs include branch and administrative posts, information technology roles, project managers, risk analysts and compliance officers.

The number of available jobs may seem high, but it's actually down from the same time last year when M&T was in the midst of hiring 600 workers to staff the bank's growing mortgage sub-servicing unit in Getzville, said Dan Boscarino, senior vice president of human resources. M&T picked up mortgage sub-servicing work when Bank of America closed its local mortgage servicing division in early 2013 and cut loose more than 1,000 workers.

Local job-seekers should get used to the high number of open positions at M&T. Boscarino said it's the "new normal" following the bank's continued growth in mortgage servicing-related work as well as its ongoing focus on risk management. M&T's Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering compliance program was called out last year by the Federal Reserve Bank for certain deficiencies, and since then the bank has poured tens of millions of dollars into revamping the program.

In fact, more than 500 workers - not including part-time or contract employees - have been hired by M&T to work on Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering compliance issues. The peak of hiring for that initiative has now passed, with about 40 positions available at the moment, Boscarino said.

"We're going to continue to hire there, but not like we saw in the past," he said.

M&T now employs 6,102 people in Western New York, where headquarters and several back-office facilities are located. Company-wide, it employs more than 16,000 workers.

It remains unknown if or when the Fed will sign off on the improvements M&T has made to its Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering compliance system. Without the Fed's approval, M&T can't move forward with plans to purchase Hudson City Bancorp Inc. in New Jersey.

Originally valued at $3.7 billion, the deal has been delayed twice since it was announced nearly two years ago. During M&T's July 17 second-quarter earnings call, CFO Rene Jones could not say if M&T will be able to close the transaction before the Dec. 31 deadline.

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