BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - One week after HSBC Bank officially turned over the keys to 195 of its branches to First Niagara, customers are saying the transfer wasn't so bad. Many had no trouble at all.
About a half million customers in upstate New York and Connecticut made the transition from HSBC to First Niagara as the British banking giant exits America's retail sector. Twelve-hundred HSBC employees also made the switch.
Sr. VP of Retail Banking Scott Fisher said, "Just because the name on the door changed, or the sign out front, we were very, very focused on keeping customer-facing employees working with their long-standing relationships."
While company officials are touting the smooth transition, there have been some rough spots. On this first payday after the conversion, some paychecks did not get direct deposited, so customers had to physically take their checks to the bank.
Former HSBC customer Sue Battaglia said, "I was not expecting to be here trying to deposit a check. I am not sure where things fell through, but I did get it deposited."
An angry customer e-mailed News 4 a picture at the First Niagara branch on Grand Island as it was opening with a line out the door - and we're told the line was even longer earlier this week.
Jeanne Green's daughter's savings account somehow got switched to a checking account and she went to the Grand Island branch to straighten it out.
"And when she went to call the toll-free number that said no money in the savings, then she realized, what happened to my money?" said Green.
Her daughter is still working on that problem, but credits bank branch employees with helping out.
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