"You can't give a measure of completion because it's a dynamic process, so we work with our teams to build out a process, we go through that, we have those processes validated by outside parties," says M&T (MTB -2.8%) CFO Rene Jones on the earnings call to analysts who mostly just wanted to hear about progress the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering compliance - and when the Hudson City takeover (HCBK -2.7%) might close.
Management expects expenses on upgrading the bank infrastructure to begin declining in size by Q4. Jones does say both banks have reviewed the economics of the deal and remain very committed to it.
Sterne Agee's Todd Hagerman: "It seems as almost the agreement is becoming ... an agreement in principle, such that when the stars align sometime in the future, the boards will revisit the transaction and determine whether or not it makes sense."
Rene Jones: "Put Hudson City aside for a minute ... We tend to think long-term. So regardless of any specific merger transaction, we think in order to survive and be around, you've got to have a pretty strong infrastructure ... These investments that we're making, particularly in risk management, don't relate to any one particular transaction."