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Call it an unlikely mini-wave of construction: new bank branches. Northwest Bank last week broke ground on an East Side location, on Jefferson Avenue between Eaton and Northampton streets. Northwest plans to open the location by late this year. "We don't view this as just another branch, but rather as a critically important gathering space for our community that will…

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How satisfied are you with your bank? J.D. Power asked customers that question, and Northwest Bank scored best among banks with a Buffalo Niagara presence. J.D. Power surveyed bank customers about six different categories, for a possible top score of 1,000 points. Northwest recorded the best score — 840 — of any bank in the Mid-Atlantic region. That region covered 27…

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KeyBank is donating $250,000 to the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, which is set to open Aug. 1. Key is making the grant in conjunction with the First Niagara Foundation. The public gathering area in front of and adjacent to the comedy center's welcome hall will be called KeyBank Plaza. It will feature two large, high-definition video screens, speakers embedded thr…

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William J. Wagner has spent 34 years with Northwest Bank, guiding it to a much bigger presence in the Buffalo Niagara region. Now Wagner, the chairman and CEO of the Warren, Pa.-based bank, is preparing to retire. Ronald J. Seiffert was named the bank's new CEO. Seiffert retains the title of president, a role he has had since joining Northwest last November. Wagne…

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KeyBank has acquired a digital lending platform for small businesses created by Bolstr. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. KeyBank said the fintech software will allow the bank to provide faster and easier access to both Small Business Administration loans and traditional capital for business owners.

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M&T Insurance Agency has a new president, Kyle Samuel. Samuel, 48, was previously a managing director for USI Insurance Services, where he was responsible for its growth and sales leadership in the greater Washington, D.C., market. Samuel has more than 26 years of insurance industry experience, with his other roles at Wells Fargo Insurance Services, Aon Risk Sol…

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WARSAW — When you're up against big rivals like M&T Bank and KeyBank in the Buffalo market, how can you compete? Five Star Bank controls only a sliver of the deposits in the Buffalo Niagara region, just 0.42 percent, compared to the combined 79 percent controlled by M&T and Key. But the Warsaw-based bank isn't shrinking from the challenge, said Martin K. Birm…

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Rick Hamister developed an interest in banking at an early age, from his mother. She was an M&T Bank teller in the 1950s at the Southgate Plaza branch in West Seneca. "She talked to me about banking from the time I was little," Hamister said. "I always thought banking was just a noble profession. We take care of communities and individuals and businesses, and that's…

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Bank on Buffalo plans to open a temporary branch in Wheatfield in early August. The branch will be the bank's fourth location, and its first in Niagara County. Bank on Buffalo is moving into a former bank branch at 6947 Williams Road, near the former Summit Park Mall. The Wheatfield branch will be a full-service location, and will operate until Bank on Buffalo builds…

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Rene F. Jones reflected on following the late Robert G. Wilmers into his job, the annual shareholder letter, and why branches matter to him. Jones, who was named M&T's chairman and CEO last December, spoke last week at the Strategic Decisions Conference: • Jones said M&T has been reassuring its customers and employees that "certain things about our culture wi…

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Banks are in the business of making loans and connecting with customers through their branches. But community groups say for too long, banks have neglected parts of Buffalo, leaving those residents with too few branches and financial services accessible to them. As a result, many residents turn to high-cost alternatives like pawn shops, and face barriers to building wea…

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After a lengthy search, Tompkins Bank of Castile has chosen a location for its first Buffalo-area branch. The Batavia-based bank said it signed a lease for 1 Hopkins Road in Amherst, at Hopkins and Sheridan Drive. The property was formerly home to Eye Care and Vision Associates. The bank said it would begin interior renovations as soon as it received regulatory appro…

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Bank on Buffalo has chosen a temporary home for a Niagara County branch, in the Town of Wheatfield, until a permanent branch in Niagara Falls is built. The division of Pennsylvania-based CNB Financial has applied to regulators to open a location at 6947 Williams Road, a vacant former bank branch near the former Summit mall. Bank on Buffalo previously said it would op…

Cattaraugus County Bank will close its Franklinville branch on Aug. 31, a location with a piece of history within the bank. It was the bank's first branch, apart from its Little Valley headquarters, and opened in 1980. But the bank said the building has suffered water damage in the past few years and would require a full replacement. Cattaraugus County Bank will cont…

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M&T Bank Corp. now has a more complete board of directors, with the appointment of Kevin J. Pearson to a seat. Pearson, an M&T vice chairman, brings the size of the board back to 18 directors. He also was named to the board of M&T Bank Corp.'s banking subsidiary, M&T Bank. Buffalo-based M&T's board has undergone transition lately, with five of its…