Steuben Trust Co. plans to open its first Erie County branch and hired an Evans Bank executive as its new president.
The Hornell-based bank plans to buy a former KeyBank branch at 8503 Main St. in Clarence, at the intersection of Main and Harris Hill Road. But the bank needs state and federal regulators' approval before opening the new branch. Steuben Trust hopes to open the location around the end of this year.
Key shut the Clarence branch last October, one of 22 area Key and First Niagara branches that closed late last year following the acquisition.
A number of banks are stepping up their presence in the Buffalo Niagara region, determined to capitalize on the market shakeup caused by the Key-First Niagara deal.
While this will be Steuben Trust's first Erie County branch, the bank has operated a commercial lending office in Elma since October 2015, and has 14 branches in five other counties.
Steuben Trust is also preparing for a leadership change: John Eagleton will become president effective June 19. The board intends to eventually give him the duties of CEO, following a transition from the current president and CEO, Brenda Copeland. Copeland anticipates remaining CEO through the end of this year and continuing to serve on the bank's board as vice chair after that.
Eagleton was most recently Evans' chief commercial lending officer. He has about 30 years of lending experience and rejoined the Hamburg-based bank in 2009.
Evans has "every intention" of filling Eagleton's position, said Kevin Brady, vice president of marketing. "That's been our growth engine for some time."
Steuben Trust recorded net income of $5.4 million in 2016, up 6 percent from the year before. The bank last year surpassed $500 million in assets for the first time.
By comparison, Evans last year had net income of $8.3 million and $1.1 billion in assets, and operates 14 branches.