First Niagara to cut branches as customers go digital

Source: First Niagara Bank

First Niagara Financial Group (Nasdaq: FNFG) today announced that the company will consolidate 17 branches and two off premise drive-thru locations across its four-state footprint in January 2015, as the company continues to evaluate its branch network.

First Niagara has continued to invest in mobile and online banking technologies, which are now used by more than 200,000 and 500,000 of its customers, respectively. Following these changes, the company will continue to operate more than 390 branch locations across its four-state footprint.

“Across the financial services industry branch traffic, and the number of transactions handled per branch, are declining and self-service transactions are increasing. First Niagara is no different,” said Mark Rendulic, First Niagara Executive Vice President, Consumer Financial Services. “A majority of customers prefer online, mobile and ATMs for simple transactions - and their use of these technologies is growing. Branches remain a critical part of our business; as customers value personal interaction for life-changing investments and more complex banking transactions. As customer preferences continue to change, we are committed to evolving our branch network and our in-branch services to keep pace with their needs.”

Customers of the impacted branches will receive a written notice, sent 90 days in advance of the closing date. The majority of the receiving branches are within three miles of the closing branch. Customer accounts will be automatically moved to the receiving branch.

Team members who are impacted by these changes will either transition to new, customer-facing roles or will have an opportunity to apply for any of the more than 200 open positions within the company.

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