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KeyBank to close 10 local branches, starting in July

KeyBank will close 10 Buffalo-area branches starting in July, aiming to eliminate overlap in its network two years after acquiring some HSBC branches.

“We didn’t buy them to close them,” said Gary D. Quenneville, regional sales executive for KeyBank’s Western New York region and president of its Buffalo market. “However, common sense tells us we weren’t going to keep some of the branches in close proximity.” Several of the branches that will be eliminated are within a quarter-mile or a half-mile of another KeyBank branch.

While many banks are scaling back their number of branches as customers use technology more extensively, the closing of these 10 branches was driven more by duplication, Quenneville said. In selecting which branches to close, the bank looked at factors such as convenience, customer traffic and location. Customers this week were sent notices of the branch closings and were told where their accounts would be consolidated, as well as where other nearby KeyBank branches could be found. The closings are set to begin in July and be completed in August.

Quenneville said he expects “little or no impact” on jobs, with most of the 60 or so employees from the affected branches being absorbed into other locations. He noted that when customers learn their branch is closing, their first question often is, “Where is my teller going to be?”

KeyBank acquired HSBC branches as part of the shake-up when HSBC Bank USA exited retail banking in upstate New York. KeyBank bought 37 HSBC branches from First Niagara Financial Group in the Buffalo and Rochester regions, including all 26 HSBC locations in Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties that the U.S. Justice Department had required First Niagara to divest in order to satisfy antitrust concerns. The deal was completed in July 2012.

Of the 10 KeyBank branches that will be closed, seven were previously HSBC locations. Of the 10 branches they are being combined with, three are former HSBC locations. When the closings are complete, KeyBank will have 62 branches in the region.

Cleveland-based KeyBank had the third-highest deposit market share – 10.7 percent – among banks in the Buffalo Niagara region as of June 30, 2013, the most recently available data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. It trailed M&T Bank and First Niagara Financial Group.

Quenneville said that while some banks prefer to make decisions about overlapping branches immediately, KeyBank wanted to “see where our clients wanted to bank, rather than force them to a location.” The goal, he said, was to maximize its retention of deposits, employees and customers.

KeyBank owns some of the buildings where branches are being closed, and those will be put up for sale. It leases the others. Some of the locations where branches are being consolidated will be renovated.

Here are the 10 KeyBank branches that will close:

• Closing July 18: 5151 Broadway, Depew; 11 Main St., Hamburg; 1107 E. Lovejoy St., Buffalo; and 4191 N. Buffalo Road, Village of Orchard Park.

• Closing July 25: 3107 Bailey Ave., Buffalo; Main Place Mall branch, Buffalo; 366 Kenmore Ave., Buffalo; 6525 Transit Road, Clarence.

• Closing Aug. 1: Eastern Hills branch, 4401 Transit Road, Clarence; 5688 S. Transit Road, Lockport.