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M&T Bank's parent has been ranked as the safest of 86 banking companies by Shearson Lehman Brothers.

First Empire State Corp., which is based in Buffalo, was virtually risk-free, according to a ranking that looked at each bank's real estate and construction loans, highly leveraged transactions, loans to Third World countries, equity, loan loss reserves and nonperforming assets.

KeyCorp, parent of Key Bank of Western New York, was ranked 18th on the list of least risky banks.

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