Pascal Paoli Pratt and Bronson Case Rumsey, returning from New York City to Buffalo on the New York Central Railroad, discuss the need for a new bank to finance durable manufacturing equipment. Pratt, 37, is a third-generation Buffalonian who owns foundries and ironworks. Rumsey, 32, is in the leather tannery industry and holds a large portfolio of real estate in North Buffalo.

On March 24, 13 founding stockholders of M&T Bank, originally called Manufacturers and Traders Bank, hold their first meeting at the American Hotel in Buffalo. Henry Martin, former president of the Buffalo and Attica Railroad, is appointed the first president and assigned a salary of $1,000 a year. Martin holds the job for 29 years.

With $200,000 in capital, Manufacturers and Traders Bank officially opens for business on August 29 at Two East Swan Street in Buffalo. M&T Bank pays $1,200 in rent for the 20x80 foot space.

Capital of M&T Bank increases to $1 million on March 11 and M&T changes to a National Bank on March 31.

On April 28, Manufacturers and Traders National Bank completes its first acquisition, buying Merchants Bank of Buffalo, a small 21-year-old institution.

The stock market crashes in October, and more than 1,400 U.S. banks collapse. Nine Buffalo-area banks are liquidated, including the Union Trust Co. of North Tonawanda, the Seneca National Bank of West Seneca and the Adam, Meldrum & Anderson State Bank. M&T Bank, with a reputation for “prudence and economy,” remains open, although deposits shrink from $125 million to under $100 million.

Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company acquires the First National Bank of Kenmore on June 30, Citizens National Bank of Lancaster on October 31 and the American Bank of Lackawanna on December 31.

M&T Bank will go on to purchase another 15 local banking institutions over the next 21 years.

Robert G. Wilmers is named Chairman and CEO of both First Empire State Corporation and its principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank. The company has assets of $2 billion and operates 60 offices.

Investor Warren Buffett, through a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, purchases $40 million of preferred stock in the parent company on March 15. Berkshire’s preferred shares are converted into common stock in March of 1996, and Buffett adds to his holdings in 1999 and 2000.

M&T Bank acquires $2.1 billion in deposits and 14 branches from Goldome in May.

Keystone Financial Services Inc., with $7.4 billion in assets and 177 branches, is acquired by M&T Bank in a billion dollar transaction in October. M&T enters new markets in Central Pennsylvania, Northern Maryland and West Virginia.

In April, M&T Bank Corporation grows by more than 53 percent, acquiring Baltimore-based Allfirst Financial Inc. from Allied Irish Banks, plc. The $3.1 billion deal increases M&T Bank’s assets by almost $16.5 billion, and gives M&T Bank the leading deposit market share in Baltimore, the second largest share in Maryland and the fifth largest position in Pennsylvania.

In May, M&T Bank announces naming rights to the Ravens stadium in Baltimore, Maryland – M&T Bank Stadium.

M&T Bank celebrates its 150th anniversary with a reputation as one of the strongest and most successful banks in America. M&T Bank also acquires 21 Upstate New York branches from Citibank, N.A., becoming the market share leader in both Buffalo and Rochester.

Partners Trust Financial Group joins M&T Bank, adding 33 branches and making M&T Bank the leading bank serving the Central New York communities of Syracuse, Utica and Binghamton.

M&T Bank acquires Provident Bankshares, a 128-year old Baltimore institution with $6.4 billion in assets and branches in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

M&T Bank also acquires Bradford Bank, based in Baltimore with $452 million in assets. The two acquisitions further expand M&T Bank's presence in the Mid-Atlantic area.

M&T Bank expands into Canada. The Toronto office serves as M&T Bank's first international commercial bank office.

Wilmington Trust Corporation joins the M&T Bank family. Together, M&T Bank and Wilmington Trust represent one of the country's leading depository and lending franchises, a premier wealth advisory firm, and the partner of choice for corporate transactions and structures. This is M&T Bank’s second largest acquisition at $10.7 billion of assets.

M&T Bank and the Baltimore Ravens announce a 10-year, $60 million extension of their partnership, which includes the continuation of naming rights to M&T Bank Stadium and an array of community-focused programs, including a new initiative focused on helping at-risk children in Baltimore.

Hudson City Savings Bank merged into M&T Bank, adding approximately $19 billion in loans and expanding M&T’s franchise by 135 branches located in New Jersey (97 branches), downstate New York (29 branches) and Fairfield County, Connecticut (9 branches), along with 123 ATMs.

René F. Jones is appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of M&T and its principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank. He succeeds M&T’s longtime Chairman and CEO Robert G. Wilmers, who died on Saturday, December 16. The company has assets of $118 billion and operates more than 775 offices across eight states. 

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