First Niagara Continues Its Strategic Focus on Mortgage Lending by Opening a New Mortgage Processing Center in Downtown Syracuse

SYRACUSE, N.Y., Nov. 15, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Consistent with its strategic focus to further accelerate mortgage lending within its expanded footprint, First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:FNFG) will open a new mortgage processing center in downtown Syracuse in December, creating at least 25 new full-time positions.

The regional bank is opening its Central New York Mortgage Center at 333 West Washington Street to support originations that have grown by more than 66% over the past year. The new team members staffing the center, in addition to mortgage lenders who joined the company through the recent HSBC branch transaction, will serve customers throughout Central and Eastern New York and enable quicker lending decisions and processing. First Niagara already has a workforce of about 500 team members and 49 branches in the region.

"We are excited to continue our growth in Central New York, create new jobs and join in downtown Syracuse's Renaissance," said Senior Vice President Andy Fornarola. "With this new operation, we enhance our strategic focus on remaining a leading provider of mortgage loans to homeowners in the markets we serve, helping our neighbors and communities to do great things."

Syracuse's Washington Street building will become the home of First Niagara's third mortgage processing center, with others located in Buffalo, where the company is headquartered, and in New Haven, Connecticut.

If you have experience in mortgage processing, underwriting and loan closing, information is available regarding career opportunities at First Niagara; visit

About First Niagara

First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (Nasdaq:FNFG), through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., is a multi-state community-oriented bank with approximately 430 branches, approximately $36 billion in assets, $28 billion in deposits, and approximately 6,000 employees providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses across Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. For more information, visit

CONTACT: First Niagara Contacts: Media Contact: Helen Tederous, Corporate Communications (716) 819-5922 Investors: Ram Shankar, Investor Relations (716) 270-8623 Ram.Shankar@fnfg.comSource:First Niagara Financial Group, Inc.