Erie County Comptroller Invests All Banking Business With M&T
Comptroller Mychajliw Projects $500,000 in First-Year Savings
(BUFFALO, N.Y.) Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw and M&T Bank Regional President Jeffrey A. Wellington announced today that Erie County has selected M&T Bank to be its exclusive provider of banking services.
Until Comptroller Mychajliw initiated this competitive bidding process, Erie County had not solicited bids for its banking business since 2006. Over the past eight years, a combination of six banks had been providing service to the County.
“Today, Erie County will finally start moving into the 21st century,” said Comptroller Mychajliw. “Not only will M&T help us eliminate a lot of paper from County Hall, but they’ll also help us reduce the paper-pushing that goes along with it, so we can focus on improving service, improving quality, improving sustainability and lowering costs for Erie County’s taxpayers.”
Comptroller Mychajliw started the reform initiative and issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the county’s banking services in October of last year. To support the local economy, one portion of the RFP provided additional incentives in the selection process for banks that had a strong presence in Erie County.
“By consolidating our banking business at locally-headquartered M&T, we expect to save the taxpayers of Erie County at least $500,000 in the first year alone. We will be significantly improving service and efficiency on behalf of taxpayers,” added Comptroller Mychajliw.
The Office of Erie County Comptroller is responsible for managing over a $1.4 billion operating budget, maintaining 42 deposit accounts, disbursing 17,900 vendor checks and 1,700 payroll checks along with 9,700 direct deposit checks per month and processing 15,000 lockbox payments annually.
“Beginning immediately, M&T’s local team will be working with Comptroller Mychajliw and his staff to implement new technological solutions that will help Erie County reduce the cost of banking services and streamline county operations,” said Mr. Wellington.
To effectively and efficiently meet Erie County’s banking needs—including payroll processing, credit card and check processing and payment processing—M&T will utilize several new programs and technologies, such as:
A web-based E-Payment system that will greatly reduce the disbursement of paper checks and replace them with electronic payments—and provide the county with a project $500,000 in “Cash Back” savings
Comprehensive web-based record-keeping and reporting systems that provide county officials with up-to-the-minute access to all of its financial data and information
Remote Check Deposit technology that allows the county to deposit checks instantly from any location at any time, saving time and money
Enhanced fraud protection to help safeguard public funds, including automated check and payee verification systems, digital ACH payment originations and wire fraud protection services.
Free payroll check-cashing and “Bank-at-Work” financial education programs for county employees, and
Credit card processing at county golf courses, parks and all other public facilities
“M&T can provide Erie County with more product, service and technology solutions than many of the smaller banks—we’ve spent more than $30 million in just the last three years to build and enhance these solutions for our customers—but it’s our commitment to the customers and communities we serve, and our local, hands-on customer service that differentiates M&T from bigger out-of-town banks,” said Mr. Wellington.
Headquartered in downtown Buffalo since its establishment in 1856, M&T Bank operates 46 branches in Erie County, said Mr. Wellington, who added that M&T’s Government Banking team has specialized in public finance for more than 25 years, and has serviced local governments since its founding.
“M&T offered the best service at the best price, but their strong presence and deep commitment in Erie County made this decision even easier,” Comptroller Mychajliw said.
M&T employs 6,000 Western New Yorkers, spends more than $272 million on local salaries, occupies more than one million square feet of office space in downtown Buffalo and is currently providing $8 billion in total loans outstanding to families and businesses in Erie County.