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Five Star Bank says new hires fueling growth

Five Star Bank's parent company said it has benefited a lot from its recent hires.

"We have taken advantage of available talent in our markets over the course of the past two years, and have hired proven, experienced commercial and residential [loan] producers and leaders," said Martin K. Birmingham, president and CEO of Financial Institutions, in a conference call with analysts last week. "This investment in personnel is fueling loan growth stronger than most of our peers."

The bank said it averaged 681 full-time equivalent employees in the third quarter, up 54 employees from a year ago.

Five Star's hiring continues. The bank hired Allison K. Miller, formerly with KeyBank and First Niagara, as its commercial market executive for Central New York. And Justin Bingam, also formerly with those two banks, is set to become the bank's next chief financial officer next year.

The bank in the third quarter reported profits of $10.6 million, up 28 percent from a year ago. Five Star in early October achieved two firsts: its total loan portfolio exceeded $3 billion and its municipal deposits topped $1 billion.

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