HSBC, reaffirming its commitment to get out of the retail banking biz here in the U.S., is in the market to slough off its branch locations in Buffalo. With that said, many of the people at HSBC branch locations across Western New York are obviously worried for their jobs. The selloff of branch offices has inevitably meant shutdowns of locations and job losses at the branches left standing, given the redundant positions.
But along with the bad news comes some very welcomed news of large-scale hiring in Western New York by M&T Bank, as well as by First Niagara.
First Niagara has expanded across the East Coast in recent months. In March, the bank announced an expansion of regional marketing operations in Montgomery County, PA, in an effort to grow its Eastern Pennsylvania footprint. First Niagara also announced the opening of a commercial banking satellite office in Philadelphia.
Part of the ramp up on the regional banking side comes on a bit of renewed interest in getting back more heavily in the lending game, especially on the corporate and small business banking side. For banking professionals on the job market, continue to look to the regional players, and not the big global banks, as a better target for career opportunities.
M&T is planning to add 133 new jobs in Buffalo. First Niagara announced the plan for 500 new jobs over the next five years across New York. About 300 to 400 of those jobs are expected to be located in the Buffalo region. M&T Bank and First Niagara are both headquartered there.
Even with more industry consolidation expected, regional banks seem to be offering more jobs than their much bigger peers, at least for now. Industry insiders expect additional layoffs at the largest global banks and investment firms.