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Northwest set to close on First Niagara sale

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WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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It's the end of the line for several First Niagara Bank branches in the Buffalo area. As part of its acquisition by Key Bank, First Niagara had to sell more than a dozen locations to Northwest Savings Bank and Northwest is ready to move in.  

Northwest completes its purchase of 18 First Niagara branches Friday and qill be closing at 3 p.m., according to Northwest's Communications Manager Melanie Clabaugh.

"They'll be closed all weekend so that our IT, operations, and marketing and facilities teams can come in and re-brand those offices as Northwest and update the computer and banking systems," Clabaugh said.  

The offices will reopen Monday morning. The sale effects more than 70,000 households across the region. Clabaugh points out that as of 3 p.m. Friday, new Northwest customers will not be able to use their old First Niagara debit card. She says old checks and other transactions set up through First Niagara will be honored for 60 days.

"If somebody has a direct deposit or if they have anyone debiting money from their account and automatic payments, those transactions will still go through until November ninth," Clabaugh said.  

New customers who set up auto payments through First Niagara also need to reach out to each company they do business with online.
 
"To help customers through that process we actually have some helpful check lists that they can get from their local Northwest office starting Monday. Those check lists will help them make a list of their direct deposits and automatic payments. Then we'll have some forms that they can submit to their employers or to their billers to help them get everything squared away," Clabaugh said.  

Northwest is bringing in extra staff to help with the transition process and to answer customer service calls. More information about the transition is available here.