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Northwest withdraws interest in two vacant branches

Northwest Bank is saying "no thanks" to two locations where it had considered opening branches.

The Pennsylvania-based bank had considered adding 129 French Road in Cheektowaga and 827 Hopkins Road in Amherst to its network. Both sites were former bank branches.

"We reviewed the sites and decided they weren't a fit," said Melanie Clabaugh, a Northwest spokeswoman. "We're still looking around for other locations."

Northwest made the decision after its facilities and business development teams checked out the two sites, she said.

The state Department of Financial Services recently gave Northwest the green light to open branches in those locations. But Clabaugh said it's routine for the bank to apply for regulatory approval when it finds sites that are appealing, before making a decision on whether to open branches in them.

The Cheektowaga site was formerly a KeyBank branch, while the Hopkins Road location used to be home to First Niagara branch.

Northwest remains on track to open a New York region headquarters and operations center in Amherst, likely in June.

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