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First Niagara Bank seeks to become commercial bank

First Niagara Bank will apply to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to become a commercial bank, bank officials announced Thursday.

The application follows last week’s announcement that the bank’s holding company, First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (Nasdaq: FNFG), is applying to the Federal Reserve Board to become a bank-holding company regulated by the Office of Thrift Supervision.

The conversion from a thrift to a commercial bank will increase First Niagara’s flexibility to serve the diverse financial services needs of its customer base, bank officials said.

First Niagara Bank currently operates as a thrift, or savings, institution.

(c) 2009 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.


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