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Bank on Buffalo plans to open three area branches

CNB Financial Corp. is ready to expand into the Buffalo Niagara region, under the name Bank on Buffalo.

The Pennsylvania-based bank plans to open three Bank on Buffalo branches, at a time when the market is in flux. The three branches would be at the Electric Tower downtown, 3049 Orchard Park Road in Orchard Park, and 5190 Sheridan Drive in Amherst.

The Electric Tower would be a new location for a bank branch. But the other two sites were First Niagara Bank branches that closed earlier this month, after the combination with KeyBank.

CNB created a division for the Buffalo-area locations, but still needs regulators’ approval to go forward. CNB wouldn’t say much about its plans before receiving that approval, but intends to make a more substantive announcement next month.

CNB is based in Clearfield, Pa., and has about 400 employees and $2.5 billion in assets. Its CNB Bank division operates in Central and Western Pennsylvania. It also has a division based in Erie Pa., called Eriebank, and a division called FCBank in Central Ohio. All told, CNB has 40 branches.

In July, CNB Financial gained a foothold in the greater Cleveland market when it completed a $25 million deal for Lake National Bank.

"The successful closing of our previously announced acquisition of Lake National Bank is already providing CNB with enhanced commercial lending opportunities in the greater Cleveland market, and our entry into the Buffalo market is ahead of plan," said Joseph B. Bower, Jr., CNB's president and CEO, in a statement on Thursday.

CNB reported third-quarter net income of $6.4 million, up  28 percent from $5 million the year before.

CNB has hired two banking industry veterans to support its Buffalo-area operations: Martin Griffith, formerly with Five Star Bank, and Greg Emminger, who was formerly with First Niagara Bank.

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