News Column

M&T Rated Best US Bank for Small Businesses

Feb. 8, 2012

Jonathan D. Epstein

M&T Bank Corp. was rated by businesses as the nation's best bank for small companies in a recent annual banking study by an industry research firm.

The Buffalo-based company won the most "Excellence Awards for Small Business Banking" -- 12 national and two regional -- among the 750 U.S. banks included in the 2011 study by Connecticut-based Greenwich Associates.

M&T won national awards for overall satisfaction, personal banking satisfaction, branch satisfaction, relationship manager performance, credit policy terms and conditions, willingness to lend, and financial stability, as well as five awards in treasury or cash management. It also won Northeast regional awards for satisfaction overall and with treasury management.

"When local businesses succeed,

we all succeed," said Janet M. Coletti, M&T's senior vice president for business banking. "Small businesses are economic engines in the communities served by M&T Bank, and we understand how important it is to serve those businesses well, to help them grow, and to help them create new jobs and new opportunities."

Last year, M&T made more than 7,500 new small-business loans, and the bank currently has a total of $5 billion in outstanding loans to small-business customers. The bank is also the nation's sixth-largest provider of government-backed U.S. Small Business Administration loans, as well as the top SBA lender in Buffalo, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Rochester, Syracuse, Washington, D.C., and Wilmington, Del.

"M&T works closely with business owners, providing them not just with the capital they need, but also sharing solutions, experience and advice," Coletti said.

Buffalo-based First Niagara Financial Group also won the same two regional awards as M&T, as well as six national awards for overall satisfaction, relationship manager performance, branch satisfaction, and treasury management. HSBC Bank USA won for international service.

The small-business awards were based on evaluations of the banks by 13,500 businesses with sales of $1 million to $10 million. Greenwich also surveys 11,500 businesses with sales of $10 million to $500 million nationwide, for a middle-market banking study.

"Lending responsibly to small businesses has always been one of M&T Bank's greatest strengths," M&T President Mark J. Czarnecki said, "and our consistent approach is more important than ever to our customers in today's uncertain economy."

Source: (c) 2012 The Buffalo News (Buffalo, N.Y.)

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