First Niagara to Combine Consumer Banking Businesses

BUFFALO, N.Y., Sept. 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Niagara Financial Group (Nasdaq:FNFG) today announced plans to combine all of its consumer-facing businesses in order to more effectively serve its customers. Effective immediately, the company's Retail Banking and Consumer Finance groups will be merged into one Consumer Financial Services team under the leadership of Mark Rendulic, Executive Vice President.

"Our customer is top of mind as we continue our strategic investments in products, services and delivery channels to transform First Niagara into one of the top-performing regional banks in the nation and create long-term shareholder value," said Gary M. Crosby, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Consolidating our Retail Banking and Consumer Finance businesses will enable us to deliver greater value to our customers, through closer team collaboration, and will ultimately drive greater shareholder value."

The newly combined Consumer Financial Services group will be comprised of the company's Retail, Wealth Management, Consumer Direct Lending and Residential Mortgage businesses.

Mr. Rendulic noted, "Customers want a seamless and personalized banking experience, regardless of the channel they use or the solutions they are seeking. We are committed to providing consumers with the ability to manage their financial needs when, where and how it is most convenient for them. Bringing these already strong teams together into one group puts the delivery of our consumer offerings in one place and enables us to more seamlessly serve our customers."

In connection with this business combination, First Niagara also announced that Andrew Fornarola, Executive Vice President, Consumer Finance, will be leaving the company.

"Andy has done a remarkable job putting in place the right people and infrastructure, while at the same time significantly growing our Consumer Finance business," said Mr. Crosby. "I thank Andy for his service and for his many contributions to First Niagara."

About First Niagara

First Niagara, through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, NA., is a multi-state community-oriented bank with approximately 410 branches, $39 billion in assets, $27 billion in deposits, and approximately 5,900 employees providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses across New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. For additional information on First Niagara, visit us at, follow us on Twitter @FirstNiagara, or like us on Facebook at FirstNiagaraBank.

CONTACT: First Niagara Contact Investors: Ram Shankar Senior Vice President, Investor Relations (716) 270-8623 News Media: David Lanzillo Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications (716) 819-5780

Source:First Niagara Financial Group, Inc.