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First Niagara Makes Big Buy

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – First Niagara is about to get bigger. It is buying 57 banks in Western Pennsylvania.

First Niagara is paying $54.6 million in cash to purchase the National City Bank branches. The Lockport-based savings bank says workers will retain their jobs. John Koelmel is president and CEO of First Niagara. Koelmel says this will mean more jobs in both Western New York and Western Pennsylvania.

"We've got to add upward to 200 jobs in both Pennsylvania and here in Western New York to further support, to build out of our organization. I would say some where between 100 125 of them will be here in Western New York. 50 to 75 will be in the Pittsburgh market. So in total it is about an 8% increase, about 2,500 employees," said Koelmel.

Koelmel says this is significant day for First Niagara.