BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – “We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls” is the message members of now M&T Bank are getting when they call for help.
“I feel very badly let down” said Michael Ryan, a former People’s United Bank customer.
From being locked out of online banking, to receiving messages that their account does not exist at all — customers of the former People’s United Bank are dealing with a variety of issues since the entity was acquired by M&T Bank.
“I don’t have the confidence anymore that they do a thorough job of making sure that the payments that are due to me are coming in or payments that are due from me, are going out. It’s terrible. I don’t know how they think they can get away with it.”
Customers say their problems began over Labor Day weekend when M&T bank, which acquired People’s United in April, transferred their accounts into a combined banking system.
“We were not being told that there was going to be a problem we were being reassured that there wouldn’t be a problem” said Ryan.
Customers say when they try and reach out to M&T for help, they’re met with long wait times and an audio message that says, “we’ll try to return your call within 24-48 hours”
“They want to pass on the responsibility for doing the work to the customer” adds Ryan.
Channel Three reached out to M&T Bank for a response and Senior Vice President and Director of Community Affairs, Max Reiss sent a statement saying:
Most customers had a smooth experience during the integration and have been able to use their banking services with us as normal, for those that had issues with online and mobile banking, the problems are easing. M&T Bank is committed to providing our customers with the best possible experience, which will continue throughout our branches and online long after this integration of systems is complete.
Kevin Gaffney, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation says the state is aware of the issues people are facing.
“We’re not just being passive in this process. We actually did reach out today to M&T Bank. We have not yet gotten a response.”
Gaffney says the department has received a number of complaints about the merger but cannot do much because the department regulates only state-chartered banks with Vermont headquarters. He offers customers this advice;
“I would say just, what they can do is just keep records have their current accounts, you know, whatever they have access in the past just keep goes and hold those until they can access their accounts online. But I would say reach out to the bank. And if they are not getting any response, then I would first reach out to the primary regulator in New York.”
The transition will continue for the next few weeks. M&T says it will continue trying to better customer experience and will allow customers to use their existing people’s united cards until September 20th.
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