M&T Bank Celebrates 150 Years

August 24, 2006 at 12:00 AM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y., Aug 24, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- In the year 1856, Buffalo, New York was growing rapidly. Located at the terminus of the Erie Canal, Buffalo's towering grain elevators handled 19.7 million bushels of grain that year, making it the world's largest grain port. The canal had been open for 31 years, and was being widened from 40 to 70 feet to accommodate the growing volume of freight moving between eastern and western states. Schooners and barges crowded into the city's bustling harbor while factories and warehouses crammed the waterfront.

But many of the existing banks in Buffalo were unable to make long-term loans needed to finance durable manufacturing equipment. Two local businessmen saw a need -- and an opportunity -- to help those growing businesses and their growing city by establishing a new bank. With $200,000 in capital, Pascal Paoli Pratt and Bronson Case Rumsey founded Manufacturers and Traders Bank on August 29.

150 years later, M&T Bank is now one of the twenty largest bank holding companies in the United States, with more than $56 billion in assets, 650 branches, 1,600 ATMs and 13,000 employees serving over one million households in six states and the District of Columbia.

M&T Bank will celebrate its sesquicentennial on August 29th with a variety of community events and special offers. The 150th anniversary celebration will include:

    * Customer appreciation events at many of the bank's 679 branches during
      the week of August 29.

    * Special anniversary rates on certain Certificates of Deposit and
      personal loans.

"No company gets to be 150 years old without the support of its employees, customers and the communities it serves. We mark our 150th anniversary by pausing to thank all those people who have helped make M&T Bank one of America's most enduring banks," said M&T Bank Corporation Chairman Robert G. Wilmers.

For more information about M&T Bank's 150th anniversary, please visit M&T's website at http://www.mandtbank.com.

                           The History of M&T Bank

    1856  Pascal Paoli Pratt and Bronson Case Rumsey, traveling on the New
          York Central Railroad, discuss the need for a new bank in Buffalo.
          37-year-old Pratt 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

    1856  13 founding stockholders of Manufacturers and Traders Bank hold
          their first meeting at the American Hotel in Buffalo on March 24.
          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.

    1856  With $200,000 in capital, M&T opens on August 29 at Two East Swan
          Street in Buffalo, New York.  M&T pays $1,200 in rent for the 20x80
          foot space.

    1857  The first dividend is declared by Manufacturers and Traders Bank on
          January 1.  Among the 145 stockholders listed as recipients of the
          four-percent dividend is Millard Fillmore, who owns 10 shares valued
          at $500 and receives $20.

    1857  M&T increases its capital to $500,000 through a secondary stock
          offering on July 15.

    1861  Civil war breaks out between north and south, and the directors of
          M&T vote on September 24 to subscribe $50,000 to a Union war loan

    1880  M&T moves to larger offices in April, renting space at $4,000 per
          year in a six-story cast iron building at the corner of Main and
          West Seneca Streets in downtown Buffalo.

    1885  Henry Martin retires as President of M&T at the age of 83.  Pascal
          Pratt, now 66, becomes President.  Pratt served as Vice President
          since the bank was formed.

    1901  M&T builds its own building.  Designed by architect E. B. Green, the
          granite neo-classical building stands near the southwest corner of
          Main and Swan Streets in Buffalo on a site purchased for $210,000.

    1902  M&T increases its capital to $1 million on March 11, and changes to
          a National Bank on March 31.  On April 28, M&T completes its first
          acquisition, buying Merchants Bank of Buffalo, a small 21-year-old

    1914  On October 26, M&T moves to a massive white marble building at the
          corner of Main and Swan Streets in Buffalo.  Robert Livingston Fryer
          is the bank's President.

    1917  As the United States enters World War I, M&T provides financing to
          numerous local companies that are manufacturing war materiel.  Harry
          T. Ramsdell, M&T's fourth President, serves as a district chairman
          for a special subscription committee of the national Liberty Loan

    1925  On December 16, M&T, now with $64 million in assets, merges with the
          Fidelity Trust Company, with $35 million in assets, under the name
          Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company.  The $100 million company
          is headed by Fidelity's President, 36-year-old Lewis G. Harriman.
          Harriman and a group of investors including A. H. Schoellkopf, from
          the founding family of the Niagara Mohawk power company, and James
          V. Forrestal, who would become the first U.S. Secretary of Defense,
          own enough shares to control both Fidelity and M&T.

    1927  M&T acquires the People's Bank of Buffalo on May 16, swelling M&T's
          assets to $135 million.

    1929  The stock market crashes in October, and more than 1,400 U.S. banks
          collapse.  Nine Buffalo-area banks were liquidated.  M&T, with a
          reputation for "prudence and economy," remains open, but deposits
          shrink from $125 million to under $100 million.

    1941  America enters World War II, and Western New York's manufacturing
          economy expands.  M&T's deposits bulge to $227 million from $123
          million in just four years.

    1945  M&T 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 will go on to purchase another 15
          local banking institutions over the next 21 years.

    1961  M&T acquires an entire block on Main Street between North Division
          and Eagle Streets in downtown Buffalo and announces plans for a $12
          million skyscraper that will become the bank's new headquarters.

    1963  Architect Minoru Yamasaki, featured on the cover of Time magazine in
          January and in the process of designing the World Trade Center in
          New York City, is retained by M&T to design its new building in

    1964  Charles W. Millard succeeds Harriman as Chairman of M&T.

    1967  On June 13, New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller attends the
          dedication of the bank's new 315-foot, 21-story headquarters
          building, One M&T Center, hailing the building as "a standard of
          excellence for future construction in downtown Buffalo."

    1969  M&T's stockholders vote to create a multi-bank holding company,
          First Empire State Corporation.

    1983  Robert G. Wilmers is named Chairman and CEO of First Empire.  The
          bank has assets of $2 billion and operates 60 offices.

    1987  The East New York Savings Bank, operating 15 branches in
          metropolitan New York City becomes a subsidiary of First Empire.

    1990  In January, First Empire acquires $486 million in deposits and 11
          offices in Rochester from Monroe Savings Bank.  In September, the
          company acquires $1.3 billion in deposits along with 9 branches in
          Buffalo and 4 in Rochester from Empire of America.

    1991  Investor Warren Buffett, through a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway,
          purchases $40 million of preferred stock in First Empire 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.
          Currently, Buffet holds approximately 6 percent of M&T's stock, with
          a value of more than $800,000,000.

    1991  First Empire acquires $2.1 billion in deposits and 14 branches from
          Goldome in May.

    1992  In July, First Empire acquires the $1.1 billion asset Central Trust
          Company and the $300 million asset Endicott Trust Company, adding
          $1.3 billion in deposits and 38 branches in the Rochester and
          Binghamton areas.

    1994  Ithaca Bancorp, with 12 offices in Tompkins, Cortland and Broome
          counties, $470 million in assets and $339 million in deposits, is
          acquired in December by First Empire.  Also that month, First Empire
          buys seven branches and $146 million in deposits in Orange and
          Rockland Counties from Chemical Bank.

    1995  First Empire forms a national bank subsidiary, M&T Bank, N.A.

    1995  In July, First Empire buys four branches from Chase Manhattan Bank,
          N.A., three located in the Hudson Valley and one in Niagara Falls,
          adding another $84 million in deposits.

    1997  Two branches in Westchester County and $131 million in deposits are
          acquired by First Empire in January from GreenPoint Bank.  East New
          York Savings Bank merges into M&T Bank in May.

    1998  First Empire acquires ONBANCorp on April 1, becoming the 37th
          largest owned bank in the United States with $20 billion in assets,
          256 branches and more than 6,000 employees.  Stockholders vote to
          change name of the parent company from First Empire State
          Corporation to M&T Bank Corporation.

    1999  In June, M&T acquires the First National Bank of Rochester, with 19
          offices and $676 million in assets.  29 upstate New York branches
          are purchased from Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A. in September, adding
          $634 in deposits.

    2000  Keystone Financial Services Inc., with $7.4 billion in assets and
          177 branches, is acquired by M&T in a billion dollar transaction in
          October.  M&T enters new markets in central Pennsylvania, northern
          Maryland and West Virginia.

    2001  M&T acquires the $1.8 billion asset Premier National Bancorp, Inc.,
          becoming the market leader in the mid-Hudson Valley.  The February
          transaction is valued at $340 million

    2003  In April, M&T grows by more than 53%, acquiring Baltimore-based
          Allfirst Financial Inc. from Allied Irish Banks, plc.  The $3.1
          billion deal increases M&T's assets by almost $16.5 billion, and
          gives M&T the leading deposit market share in Baltimore, the second
          largest share in Maryland and the fifth largest position in

    2005  Robert E. Sadler, Jr. is appointed President and Chief Executive
          Officer of M&T.  Robert G. Wilmers remains Chairman.

    2006  M&T in July acquires 21 Upstate New York branches from Citibank
          N.A., including nine in Buffalo and 12 in Rochester.  M&T assumes
          approximately $1 billion in new deposits and $269 million in new
          loan balances, becoming the market share leader in both Buffalo and

    CONTACT:  Chet Bridger
              (716) 842-5182


Chet Bridger of M&T Bank, +1-716-842-5182, or cbridger@mandtbank.com

Copyright (C) 2006 PR Newswire. All rights reserved.

News Provided by COMTEX