| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2011
TTY (866) 544-5309
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REACHES AGREEMENT WITH FIRST NIAGARA BANK N.A.
WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice announced today that First Niagara Bank N.A. and HSBC Bank USA N.A. have agreed to sell 26 branch offices in the Buffalo, N.Y., area with approximately $1.6 billion in deposits, to resolve antitrust concerns from the sale of HSBC’s branch network in upstate New York to First Niagara. HSBC is selling 195 branches in New York and Connecticut to First Niagara for approximately $1 billion. The department said that, without the divestitures, the acquisition likely would have an adverse effect on competition in the Buffalo area for retail banking or small business banking services.
Under the agreement with the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, the companies will divest 26 HSBC branches located in Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties, N.Y. The divestitures will include the commercial loans associated with the divested branches.
The proposed merger is subject to the final approval of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The department said that it will advise the OCC that it will not challenge the merger provided that the parties divest the branch offices specified in the agreement and associated loans and deposits; and provided that the parties commit to the OCC that they will comply with the agreement with the department.
First Niagara Bank N.A., headquartered in Buffalo, is a wholly owned subsidiary of First Niagara Financial Group. First Niagara Bank has about $31 billion in assets and about $19 billion in deposits. It has branch offices in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.HSBC Bank USA N.A., headquartered in McLean, Va., is the principal subsidiary of HSBC USA Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC North America Holdings Inc. As of June 30, 2011, HSBC Bank USA N.A. has about $195 billion in assets and operates 470 branches throughout the United States.
The branches to be divested are:
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