M&T Bank's acquisition of Hudson City Savings Bank is resulting in layoffs of 384 of Hudson City's 1,688 employees, though at the same time, M&T is now recruiting 175 bankers to build up its commercial lending, small-business banking and mortgage lending operations in New Jersey.
Richard Gold, executive vice president of Buffalo, N.Y.-based M&T, said the Hudson City employees being laid off have been notified and will receive severance, and will leave the bank when the two banks combine their operations this spring. The positions cut are redundancies in the merged bank, and include back office, human resources, accounting, finance and treasury jobs.
Gold said M&T is "retaining every customer-facing employee that Hudson City has, and they work throughout the state, in branches and in sales positions."
He said M&T already has hired 70 of the 175 additional bankers in New Jersey.
In August, M&T announced the $3.7 billion acquisition of Hudson City, which has 135 branches, including 95 in New Jersey and $43.6 billion in assets.
'Unfortunately the first leg of the journey is never the most pleasant one, because it has to do with the disposition of a number of loyal employees, but it is a necessary first step to get us on the right track," Gold said.
He said the Hudson City employees being laid off can apply for open positions elsewhere in the M&T franchise, which stretches from Connecticut to Virginia, and will be given preferential consideration.
"One of the things that attracted M&T to Hudson City was the long-tenured, loyal employee base at Hudson City, which is similar to M&T — and which is why we make every effort to retain the customer-facing people," Gold said. "Long tenure equates to long-term client relationships."
Gold said M&T is attracting veteran bankers from competing institutions, as well as professionals not currently working in financial services.
Asked if M&T is upping the ante for commercial lending talent in the state, Gold said, "Certainly if you are a commercial lender, and a new commercial bank has entered the geography, that creates more opportunity. We are recruiting quality candidates from all of the institutions that currently do business in New Jersey, both large and small."