M&T Bank is here as Delaware says goodbye to Wilmington Trust

Wilmington Trust branches in Delaware closed at 3 p.m. Friday afternoon, but not because of Hurricane Irene.

The branches closed early Friday and through the weekend to complete the conversion from Wilmington Trust to M&T Bank.

“So after 3 o’clock [Friday]… you’re gonna see the signs come off, you’ll start to see the M&T signs replacing the Wilmington Trust ones,” said M&T’s Matt Calhoun.

Calhoun is M&T’s Administrative Vice President of Retail Banking in Delaware. He says 153 “buddies” from M&T’s in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland came to the First State to help with conversion-related activities. “Everything from branch automation, to the computers, and the security systems, and the in-branch fixtures, and marketing,” said Calhoun.

The ailing Wilmington Trust announced plans to merge with M&T last winter. Consequently, more than 700 Wilmington Trust employees were given their walking papers.

“Unfortunately in any type of situation like that, you are going to have a realignment of employees,” said Nick Lambrow, President of M&T’s Delaware region. “And the number was 720 and I’m proud to say that we are down to 570 and a lot of those individuals have found jobs outside the bank or within the company.”

M&T, which has operated out of Millsboro for a long time, says it’s excited about its expansion throughout the state. M&T also says, while it is based in Buffalo, the Delaware branches will still be very local.

“People think, ‘Oh, they go to Buffalo and someone’s sitting in a desk in Buffalo making decisions about Delaware,’ but we’re right here,” said Calhoun. “Local people, local decision-making… so that decisions aren’t being made in Baltimore or Buffalo, New York about how we’re going to operate and work in this community.”

As of Monday morning, all Wilmington Trust branches will bear M&T’s name. However, M&T’s Lambrow says Wilmington Trust is not completely gone.

“There still is a corporate client services and a wealth management of Wilmington Trust, which is top in its field… So you will see Wilmington Trust and M&T.”

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