M&T Bank Focuses on Community Development
Steve Adubato talks with the New Jersey Regional President of M&T Bank, Tom Comiskey, about the bank’s role as a “corporate citizen” and why the M&T Charitable Foundation donated $615,000 in community development grants to 45 different New Jersey non-for-profits.
"Tom Comiskey is New Jersey regional president, M&T Bank. Good to see you, Tom. Hi Steve. Good to see you as well. Thanks for having me. For those who don't know M&T Bank, describe it. M&T Bank is a commercial bank, a regional bank, headquartered up in Buffalo, New York. It's been around since about 160 years or so. Hmm. To sort of define our modern history by the time that Bob Wilmers took over the bank in 1983, and Bob's done a tremendous job with the bank, and we're happy that we're finally able to make our push into New Jersey, and happy to be here. Describe the footprint in New Jersey. Where? Sure. So the New Jersey footprint extends all the way from the northern parts of New Jersey, Bergen County, Passaic County, all the way down into the southern parts. So down into Camden and parts south. And that part of the state rolls into our Philadelphia group, and my teams are responsible for north and central Jersey. You and I were having a conversation earlier, we were talking about the whole question of giving back. And we talked about the Charitable Foundation. What is it? And describe the focus. Sure. So going back to Mister Wilmers, he's always emphasized that when our communities succeed, we all succeed. And community giving and charitable involvement has always been sort of a very important part of our corporate culture. So here in New Jersey, specifically, we have a charitable committee, made up of several team members, commercial business banking, community reinvestment, wealth management. And we get together on a monthly basis, and look at organizations and how we can help them, and we make decisions on how to deploy funds across the... Well what kinds of...? So we can understand? And... Sure. Where? Like what kinds of areas? Is it for homelessness? Sure. What kinds of areas? Sure. So probably the best example would be our recent announcement of $615,000 worth of community reinvestment funds, that we gave grants to organizations in needy parts of the state, so Newark, Jersey City. You know, one example would be Garden State Episcopal, the Community Development Corp. We gave them money to help rehabilitate the church there, and I had an opportunity to go out and meet with them, and Deputy Mayor Bahil, and see the work they're doing firsthand. Actually fix up the church? Yeah, they're actually fixing up the church, and also building units around the church to really revitalize the neighborhood. And the way they view it is, if they can provide opportunities to stay in the community, for people who have been there, and also opportunities for people..."