M&T Bank Corporation was founded in 1865 as the Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company in Buffalo, New York, providing financial services throughout western New York State. Since then, the company has grown to become one of the largest commercial bank holding companies in the nation.
The company’s phenomenal growth is due in large part to acquisitions and mergers with smaller companies, including OnBank, Allfirst Bank of Baltimore, and First National Bank of Maryland. From the late 1980s through the early 2000s, M&T acquired 20 different companies, and they can now boast of assets topping $97.1 billion.
Business loans are just one of the many services they provide through 650 branches located in New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, Florida, and Delaware. They have even expanded into Canada, opening a branch in Toronto. M&T Bank was one of the only banks that was not forced to lower dividends during the 2008 financial crisis.
M&T Bank offers a wide variety of business loan options to meet many different kinds of needs. Let’s consider a few of the more significant ones.
1) Express Business Installment Loan – This loan is designed for businesses that need help purchasing equipment, conducting renovations, or expanding. The loan limit is $100,000, so it is not suitable for big expenses such as start-up costs, and it’s intended primarily for small businesses. By offering immediate term financing, companies can get the money in a matter of days, which makes it a great choice for ongoing projects.
2) Term Loan – Term loans are designed for businesses looking to fund expansions or equipment purchases. Loan amounts start at $10,000, and single or multiple disbursement options are available.
3) SBA Guaranteed Loans – Offered under the guidelines of the U.S. Small Business Administration, an SBA Loan is intended to help companies who might not otherwise qualify for financing. With loan amounts up to $5 million, it can help start or expand a business.
The M&T Bank website provides quite a bit of information about different types of business loans, and though the information provided is not comprehensive, it does give a clear picture of what is available. Through the main website, customers can find a link to something called AnswerZone. This is a great resource for small business owners, offering a number of tools for calculating estimated payments and interest rates, and it also provides in-depth business strategy guides and extensive information on financing, small business retirement plans, and employee benefits.
Customers are given a number of ways to begin the loan application process. They can fill out forms online, talk to a representative over the phone, or make an appointment to meet with someone in person. The online process has a clean interface, making it easy to follow. Applicants simply fill in boxes with necessary information, submit it online, and wait to be contacted.
The Better Business Bureau gives M&T Bank a solid A- score based on a number of factors, including length of time in business, the relatively low complaint volume compared to the size of the business, and M&T Bank’s willingness to address and resolve outstanding complaints. In fact, as of this writing, there are no outstanding complaints on the BBB website. They have all been satisfactorily resolved by the company.
M&T Bank is lacking in information when it comes to tracking down specific business loan requirements. Some information was impossible to locate on the website, especially minimum requirements for loan services, such as credit score and annual revenue. There are other business loan companies that readily provide these sorts of vital details on their website, so it is strange than M&T does not. M&T Bank seems to prefer that potential applicants speak directly to a representative before acquiring some of this information, which can be a waste of time for a company that doesn’t qualify.
It should also be noted that the website is not the easiest to navigate and finding specific pages can sometimes be a challenge. Though a few helpful charts provide basic overviews of their various loan options, more detailed information is hard to come by without speaking directly to the company. This will prove to be frustrating for business owners who prefer to do a lot of research before contacting a representative.
Also, a handful of customer testimonials are offered on the business loan page, but they are limited to glowing reviews. A cursory search of the internet reveals hundreds of complaints across a number of websites about M&T Bank services. Customer service receives the bulk of the complaints. Of course, most of these complaints are about services other than business loans, but some extensive criticisms of their business loan practices are also out there.
Services are only offered in a handful of states and cities, specifically New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, Florida, Delaware, and Toronto, Canada. Though the company is huge in terms of assets and listed among the biggest commercial bank holding companies in the U.S., their services simply are not available in most states. It is not clear if they will continue to expand into other states.
There have been numerous complaints on the internet about M&T Bank charging massive prepayment penalties for business loans. Some companies that have attempted to pay of their loans early have found themselves facing huge fees. Obviously, these fees are meant to make up for lost revenue from interest payments, but since many companies no longer charge prepayment penalties, this puts M&T Bank behind the times.
*Star Rating is determined by evaluating APR range, minimum credit score requirement, revenue requirement, length in business requirement, and other related approval data.