M&T Gets SEC Wells Notice on Wilmington Trust Amid DOJ Probe

M&T Bank Corp. (MTB) said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice are investigating financial reports by Wilmington Trust Corp. before M&T bought the firm.

The SEC sent a Wells notice on Aug. 5, M&T said today in a regulatory filing. Wilmington responded on Sept. 20, according to Buffalo, New York-based M&T. Either investigation could have civil or criminal consequences including “enforcement actions, fines, penalties, restitution or additional costs and expenses,” M&T said.

M&T also said it can’t assure that the pending takeover of Hudson City Bancorp will be completed by Jan. 31, according to the filing. M&T reached a deal in June with regulators to improve its controls amid a Federal Reserve probe into money laundering and postponed the Aug. 27 deadline for completing its acquisition of Hudson City.

M&T agreed to buy Paramus, New Jersey-based Hudson City for about $3.7 billion when the deal was announced in August 2012.

Michael Zabel, an M&T spokesman, didn’t immediately respond to inquiries about the disclosures. A Wells notice gives a company the chance to dissuade regulators from taking action against the firm. M&T slid 1.2 percent to $112.36 at 10:56 a.m. in New York.

M&T, which counts Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. among its largest shareholders, completed its purchase of Wilmington Trust in 2011 after the Delaware bank put itself up for sale amid losses fueled by soured commercial real estate loans and investments in pools of trust-preferred securities.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Dexheimer in New York at edexheimer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Eichenbaum at peichenbaum@bloomberg.net

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