(WBEN) For the first time in over 30 years, not a single western New Yorker this morning has a personal account at an HSBC bank.
First Niagara bought out almost 200 HSBC branches in the north east. Federal regulators forced First Niagara to sell off some of those in the Buffalo and Rochester area: 37 HSBC branches became Key branches at midnight Friday. Before that, others were sold by First Niagara to Community Bank and the majority remain First Niagara as part of a buyout that saw HSBC exit personal banking in Western New York.
"It's a little sad. The Marine Trust dates back to the 1800s and it was a strong presence in the community says," Financial Planner Richard Schroeder, a former banking reporter at the Buffalo News.
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Schroeder, Braxton & Vogt:
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HSBC came to Buffalo in 1995 when the global banking giant bought out Marine Midland Bank. MarineMidland's predecessor, The Marine Trust company started in Buffalo in 1850.
"I think it's a bad thing from the perspective that when a bank is based here, and doing things in the community with customers here, it supports a lot of organizations," Schroeder says.
Consumers however may notice little change, unless they have specific needs. Some people who travel a lot may want a large bank that is globally accessible. Still others may rebel against the changes, out of a longing for the days of smaller local community banks.
Either way, one large bank - what Ed Hutton at Niagara University's financial services lab calls " a bank supermarket" - has gone the way of the dinosaur and the dodo.
"I think that after the banking crisis, with what has happened to the banking industry, they realize that just doesn't work," Hutton says.