For customers of the soon-to-be-history First Niagara Bank, this will be a holiday weekend of banking transition, as KeyBank becomes the new name on the door on Tuesday morning after a host of changes inside. First Niagara branches, converting to KeyBank, will close at 3 p.m. Oct. 7 and reopen for business the morning of Oct. 11, the day after Columbus Day. The company promises a smooth transition, and has been providing customers of the bank’s more than 60 branches in Connecticut with step by-step previews of what to expect. The changes represent the completion of the $4.1 billion KeyCorp purchase of First Niagara.
“As KeyBank and First Niagara come together you can continue to bank as you currently do, using your same account number, checks, debit card, ATM card, credit card, telephone banking, online access and branches,” the company website points out.
First Niagara has 65 branches in Connecticut that will be transitioned to KeyBank branches. There were no existing KeyBank branches in the state prior to the merger, so there was no overlap that required branch closings, as is often the case with bank mergers.
Headquartered in Cleveland, KeyBank’s footprint includes 15 states via a network of more than 1,200 branches and more than 1,500 KeyBank ATMs. The company’s roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Since then, KeyCorp has grown into one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, among the top 15, with assets of approximately $135 billion, according to the company.
In recent months, First Niagara did consolidate five Connecticut branches (Woodstock, Dayville, Hamden, East Haven and Madison), and all of the employees who worked at those branches were offered positions within the bank, officials indicated, and no layoffs were associated with that consolidation.
"By asset size, this is the largest bank merger since the financial crisis,” Beth E. Mooney, Key’s chairwoman and CEO, told the Buffalo News last month, during a visit to Key’s Northeast regional headquarters in Buffalo, which had been First Niagara’s corporate headquarters.
“So there is a significance and an importance for us to do it well that’s critical for our communities, our clients, our employees and our shareholders. But from an industry perspective, this is actually one that there’s a fair amount of eyes on us, as well.”
The conversion of First Niagara accounts and services to KeyBank will begin at with a 3 p.m. close of business on Friday, October 7. Due to Online Banking updates, customer balances that appears online on Thursday, October 6 at 11:59 p.m. will not change until Saturday, October 8, at 6 a.m., so any purchases or deposits made during that time will not be reflected on online balances until Saturday. Customers can continue to use current First Niagara ATM/debit card, account numbers and PINs will not change.
The acquisition of First Niagara by Keycorp was announced on Oct. 30, 2015, and includes the addition of approximately 300 First Niagara branches in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. First Niagara had entered the Connecticut market in 2011 with the purchase of New Alliance Bank.