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KeyBank set to open East Side branch on June 3

KeyBank plans to open its new East Side branch on June 3, the latest sign of the renewed interest banks have taken in that part of the city.

The full-service branch will revive part of a former Rite Aid at East Delavan Avenue and Grider Street.

Key is adding the East Side location at a time when many banks, including Key, have shut branches elsewhere. But Beth E. Mooney, Key's chairwoman and CEO, said there is still value in adding locations in underserved areas.

"There are still certain markets and neighborhoods where it's important that you do have a presence, and so this was one that was very much part of our discussions with the Buffalo community over the last couple of years, because the East Side does indeed have a gap in its physical services for the residents in that area," Mooney said.

Northwest Bank earlier this year opened a branch on Jefferson Avenue, and M&T Bank has upgraded four East Side branches. Bank on Buffalo is considering investing in East Side initiatives, but has not yet detailed those plans.

Key's new branch is part of a broader five-year, $16.5 billion community benefits plan that Key rolled out in 2017, touching all of its markets. Mooney said she will provide an update on the plan at the bank's annual meeting in Cleveland next month, but said Key is "tracking ahead of the commitments we made within that plan."

Mooney said Key's Buffalo operations are "doing well," and that the outlook for Key's mortgage business, which is headquartered here, has improved from last year.

"Our pipelines are up 50 percent year over year in mortgage, so that's a real positive for our fulfillment center and teams in Buffalo," Mooney said.

Key on Thursday reported net income of $386 million, down 4 percent from $402 million a year ago.

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