Notice anything different in downtown Mount Kisco? On Monday, First Niagara Bank began its first business day operating since it took over HSBC's branch.
The outside signage at 38-50 Main St. may be different but the employees are the same.
According to Scott Fisher, the bank's managing director of retail channels, First Niagara is retaining existing staff and keeping all of its branches acquired in the Hudson Valley region. Media reports from upstate New York have detailed plans for consolidation, in a region where First Niagara has an existing footprint.
The bank reports adding on 250 employees from its Hudson Valley region, which it defines that ranging from Westchester to Ulster counties. In total, there will be more than 1,200 employees added to the bank's staff. Overall, about 135 branches have been purchased, which is lower than the 195 due to divestitures made in response to involvement from the U.S. Justice Department, Fisher explained.
Keeping the existing customers and employees, Fisher explained, "was very much a part of our strategy from day one."
The HSBC branches, including Mount Kisco's, ceased operating under their old names on Friday at 3 p.m. Fisher explained. Then, teams from both banks did audits of the branches and equipment such as ATMs were switched over. First Niagara also brought in some new equipment. The switch, overall, has been "very, very smooth."
The expansion into the Hudson Valley, along with a larger footprint in Connecticut, is part of what Fisher termed to be a large plan to link itself along the I-95 corridor, eventually stretching to the Philadelphia region.
For more information about the change, click here for First Niagara's website.