Updated: Sunday, 31 Jul 2011, 8:58 PM EDT
Published : Sunday, 31 Jul 2011, 8:58 PM EDT
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Buffalo-based First Niagara Bank is buying almost 200 of what are now HSBC Bank branches, including all of HSBC's retail branch locations in western New York.
But that may not be enough to avoid layoffs of some local HSBC employees.
It's a deal worth one billion dollars.
First Niagara Bank has agreed to purchase 195 HSBC Bank branches across New York and Connecticut.
The transaction is expected to close early next year, and when it does, First Niagara will have almost doubled its number of branch locations in Upstate New York.
In a statement released Sunday, First Niagara President and CEO John Koelmel says:
"We are very pleased to acquire such a high-quality franchise that gives us an optimal footprint in Upstate New York... This creates important density in our key legacy markets..."
HSBC North America Spokesman Neil Brazil has confirmed to News 4 that the sale includes all of HSBC's retail bank locations in Buffalo and Western New York.
And, Brazil told us tonight that First Niagara has promised to retain "most" of the 1,900 employees who work in the branches it is buying.
While those workers can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing their jobs aren't going anywhere, the job security of workers in HSBC's Tower and Atrium buildings in downtown Buffalo is less certain.
As we first told you last week, HSBC is expected to announce Monday that it is slashing ten-thousand jobs worldwide in the coming months.
Brazil wouldn't comment Sunday night on whether any of the jobs in the Tower or Atrium are on the chopping block.
All he would say is that HSBC has begun a multi-million dollar refurbishment of the Atrium building on Washington Street, and that when that project is complete, the building will be able to accommodate two-thousand employees.