M&T Bank CEO Wilmers Posts Message Urging U.S. to ‘Regain Mantle of Leadership in Global Economy’

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M&T Bank Chairman and CEO Robert G. Wilmers today posted a message to shareholders online stating the U.S. has lost the “mantle of leadership” and “regaining this mantle of leadership will require much work and true regulatory reform.”

Robert G. Wilmers

Striking the right balance of regulation and flexibility is crucial -- not for the sake of M&T nor its brethren community banks or bankers -- but for the sake of America’s recovery and our place of leadership in the global economy.

M&T Bank Chairman and CEO Robert G. Wilmers today posted a message to shareholders online stating the U.S. has lost the “mantle of leadership” and “regaining this mantle of leadership will require much work and true regulatory reform.”

Below are several excerpts from Wilmers’ message. The full message is available at http://mtb.mediaroom.com.

“Striking the right balance of regulation and flexibility, and doing so in a timely manner, is crucial—not for the sake of M&T nor its brethren community banks or bankers—but for the sake of America’s recovery and our place of leadership in the global economy.”

“For generations, the creative dynamism and savings of the United States made it a model for the world. We are at serious risk today of losing that creativity and have only recently returned, out of fear, to a positive rate of savings. For now, we may continue to be the economic—and financial sector—leader, but we have lost the mantle of leadership. If the United States is to play the role of global financial physician, we best begin by healing ourselves.”

“We should not somehow let ourselves be convinced that crisis is inevitable, that regulation cannot be effective—and that we cannot restore to health our financial services industry. Indeed, in those countries such as Norway and Canada where banks assessed risks well and governments did not let them accumulate too much debt in relation to their capital reserves, economies remained relatively stable.”

M&T is a bank holding company whose banking subsidiaries, M&T Bank and M&T Bank, National Association, operate branch offices in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. For more information, go to http://mtb.mediaroom.com.

Investor Contact: Donald J. MacLeod
(716) 8425138

Media Contact: C. Michael Zabel
(716) 842-5385

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C. Michael Zabel
M&T Bank
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