Key Bank to leave Philmont

PHILMONT–Key Bank is closing its branch in Philmont April 29 but another bank has already expressed interest in opening a branch in the village.

Therese Myers, a press contact from Key Bank, said Tuesday, February 2, that the branch will be “consolidating” with the Hudson Branch in the Fairview Plaza. Residents with accounts at Key Bank recently received letters about the closing.

The Key Bank branch at Main and Maple streets is the only bank in Philmont and the surrounding area. But this week Don Gibson, president of the bank of Greene County headquartered in Catskill, said his bank is considering opening a branch in Philmont. Mr. Gibson said Wednesday that his company already has four branches in Columbia County and this county is in his bank’s primary service area.

He said his bank was “kind of surprised” by the Key Bank announcement. “We’re looking at it,” he said of the possibility of a Philmont branch.

The closing of the Philmont office comes as KeyCorp, the parent company of Key Bank based in Cincinnati, is pursuing its plan to purchase the Buffalo-based First Niagara Financial Group for $4.1 billion. According to Ms. Myers, once the Federal Reserve approves the deal, First Niagara branches in the area will become branches of Key Bank.

According to the Times Union reporting late last year, the Federal Reserve has extended the public comment period for its review for the KeyCorp buying First Niagara until January 31. New York’s senior Senator Charles Schumer (D) had asked for the extension, according to the story, “saying it would give upstate New Yorkers more time to address the impact on the economy, jobs and bank competition.”

There have been staff reassignments at the Philmont and Copake Key Bank branch offices.

Mr. Gibson said the Bank of Greene County bank has been watching the Key Bank operations for opportunities in Columbia County that might be created by the merger. He singled out Hillsdale, where First Niagara has an office in the IGA market, and Copake, where Key and First Niagara have offices. Mr. Gibson said Key had already closed one of its branch offices in Greene County that was larger than the Hillsdale and Copake branches of First Niagara.

“We really like Columbia County.” Mr. Gibson said.

(Parry Teasdale contributed to this story.)



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