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Groups to seek comments extension for KeyCorp deal

Community groups keeping a close eye on KeyCorp’s planned acquisition of First Niagara Financial Group plan to ask for more time for the public to comment on the deal.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland – the city where KeyCorp is based – has asked for the public to submit comments by Dec. 31. The community groups plan to seek a 30-day extension, said Thomas Keily, the Western New York Law Center’s consumer education and data coordinator.

Representatives of the Law Center, Voice Buffalo, PUSH Buffalo, faith-based groups and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition met Wednesday in Buffalo with about 10 KeyCorp representatives. It was a follow-up to a meeting the community groups had last week in Washington, D.C., with KeyCorp CEO Beth Mooney and other KeyCorp officials. “We really expressed there are legitimate concerns on a community-based level,” Keily said.

The groups have raised concerns with KeyCorp about the potential impact of the $4.1 billion deal on area jobs, branches, and banking services. Among their concerns is that branch reductions expected to result from the deal would further reduce the availability of banking services in low- to moderate-income and minority communities.

Keily said the dialogue continues, and that the groups have asked KeyCorp to provide a written plan of how the bank intends to serve the community if the deal goes through.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is accepting comments on the deal by email at comments.applications@clev.frb.gov, or by regular mail at: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland (Nadine Wallman, vice president), 1455 E. Sixth St., Cleveland, Ohio, 44101-2566.

email: mglynn@buffnews.com