KeyCorp continues to explore where to open a branch on Buffalo's East Side, and local input will influence the bank's decision.
"There are multiple locations being discussed," said KeyCorp chairman and CEO Beth Mooney. "We're working with the community groups."
"We're really trying to draw on the community to not only pick the site, but to really understand what will be the attributes to really make it the right branch that's successful for the neighborhood, so there has been a whole group of people who are working on that," she said. "So that is in process."
Mooney said there is no specific time frame for selecting a site, "but I believe it will be relatively soon."
Last March, Key disclosed plans to open an East Side branch. Community groups at the time had expressed concerns about low-income areas of the city lacking adequate banking services, and they feared the pending Key-First Niagara deal could exacerbate the problem. Key completed the First Niagara deal on Aug. 1.
Key committed to the new branch as it announced a five-year, $16.5 billion National Community Benefits Plan, a program of loans and investments that will touch all 23 of its markets. Of the total, $5.8 billion would be directed to markets where both Key and First Niagara had operated. The program will roll out on Jan. 1.
Key will establish a Buffalo Niagara Advisory Board to track the community benefits plan's progress locally.
"All of that is in flight and taking shape," Mooney said. "We're working with our local market teams and our Corporate Responsibility team. All of that is progressing and will be in place."
Over Columbus Day weekend, Key converted 304 First Niagara branches to Key, and closed 70 First Niagara locations.
More branch changes are yet to come. By year's end, Key will close seven of its own area locations as part of the consolidation: one of them on Nov. 18, the rest on Dec. 2.