Jonathan D. Epstein - The Buffalo News

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Jonathan D. Epstein

Jonathan Epstein is a business reporter at The Buffalo News, where he covers real estate and development. He formerly covered banking and insurance, and has worked at The Buffalo News since January 2004. He is a graduate of the University of Rochester and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and is an upstate New York native.


A state-chartered credit union in North Buffalo has switched to a federal charter to make it easier to add new member groups and protect itself against potential threats from the banking industry.The change at Riverside Federal Credit Union, which was effective Feb. 25, has no effect on existing customers, products or services at the 62-year-old credit union. But Kevin M. …

HSBC USA, the New York-based parent of Buffalo's HSBC Bank USA, said Monday that fourth-quarter net income fell 5.4 percent, as higher incentive payments and legal compliance costs swamped gains from lending and increased fees in the retail bank.HSBC USA, the primary U.S. banking unit of the world's second-largest financial services company, earned $216.2 million for the q…

The parent of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York is moving into the Utica area, filling in the last big gap in its upstate market stretching from Buffalo to Albany.Buffalo-based HealthNow New York is finalizing contracts with doctors and hospitals in Madison, Oneida and Herkimer counties as it prepares to formally file applications with the state departments of Ins…

Community groups in Buffalo and nationwide are hopeful that Bank of America Corp. will fulfill its pledge to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into economic development, but they're reserving final judgment until they see more details from the country's third-largest bank.The Charlotte, N.C.-based banking giant said in January that it would commit $750 billion toward co…

Nonprofit health insurer Independent Health has cut 20 employees as a result of a drop in enrollment in the last year and the introduction of new technology, the company's spokesman said Wednesday.Independent Health said the layoffs, representing 2.2 percent of its 900 employees, were necessary to keep expenses in line with its size. Rising medical costs and tight competit…

M&T Bank Corp. has made it to the big leagues.Ratings agency Standard & Poor's late Monday named the Buffalo-based bank to its flagship S&P 500 benchmark index, replacing a Tennessee-based transaction processing firm that is being acquired.The move doesn't affect M&T's stock price or ticker, but gives M&T greater visibility by putting it in the same leagues as Motorola, To…

HSBC is not the only local bank sending some of its work overseas -- and that has some local experts concerned, and employees upset.Bank of America Corp. is ramping up a new facility in India to handle back-office processing -- including some minor mortgage work that was once done in Amherst.About 10 employees from an Indian company have been training at the bank's mortgag…

Greater Buffalo Savings Bank is planning to open three new offices in the coming months, expanding its branch network to 10 branches after less than five years in business.The Buffalo-based thrift, which opened its doors in November 1999, is planning offices at the intersections of Kenmore and Starin avenues in Buffalo, Transit and Klein roads in Amherst, and George Urban …

Auto insurer Geico Corp. has already hired the first 75 employees to staff its new Amherst service center -- and so far more employees are from Buffalo than any single suburb.Geico Senior Vice President Bob Miller said the early hiring pattern shows that despite the new facility's suburban location, Buffalo residents will benefit from the company's decision to locate a fac…

State Farm Mutual Insurance Co. is expanding its injury claims central office in Rochester as it completes the closing of four such offices in the greater Buffalo area.The changes will mean the loss of as many as 30 local jobs and the sizable local presence that State Farm has long had for handling auto and fire claims in Western New York.About 20 additional Buffalo-area r…

Could M&T Bank Corp. or KeyCorp be the next entre on some bigger bank's menu?The recent merger binge in the banking industry has stirred up continued speculation about which company might next be acquired. No bank appears immune, as the nation's sixth- and seventh-largest banks -- more than three times the size of Key and four times the size of M&T -- have been snapped up …

U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer on Thursday called on insurer HealthNow New York to commit to moving its headquarters to downtown Buffalo, bringing 1,200 jobs to the city's struggling central business district.The parent of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York is currently based in a building slated to be taken over by Canisius College within the next five years, forcin…

More than 300 eager job-seekers came to a Town of Tonawanda community center Tuesday to hear executives and recruiters from Geico Corp. pitch their employment offerings and answer questions as the company's first round of hiring gets under way.The informational program, held in two parts at the Sheridan-Parkside Community Center, is the only such large-scale opportunity th…

Greater Buffalo Savings Bank has a new big shareholder: Jeremy Jacobs Sr.Delaware North Companies' top executive has purchased 10 percent of Buffalo's newest financial institution from mortgage giant Fannie Mae, spending nearly $2 million of his own money.Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of the Buffalo-based global food and hospitality services company, now own…

HSBC Bank USA is changing some of its internal employee policies to adopt those of its new affiliate Household International, altering the way employees use time off and the way they are paid.About 5,300 workers in the Buffalo Niagara region will be affected.The changes will result in simplified rules for taking days off without having to justify why. They will also bring …