Category Archives: Financial Services

Buffalo jumps back into top 40 in national economic rankings

On Numbers LogoBuffalo Business First projects editor , G. Scott Thomas, posted this good news story about Buffalo’s climb in the national economic rankings. That’s according to the On Numbers Economic Index.

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Check out MadeInNY.org for great Made In NY products.  Buying New York products helps keep our economy going.

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Reuters: Factory and housing data supports growth picture

Lucia Mutikani, Washington-based reporter for Reuters, takes a look at data which shows that orders for long-lasting U.S.-made goods surged last month, despite a sharp drop in consumer confidence.

Click here to read her report.

One of The Business Council’s major initiatives this year is to increase awareness of the terrific products that are manufactured right here in New York. Please take a moment to check out our Made in New York website. Consider joining the Made in New York movement. Good for business. Good for New York.

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DFS Program Alert: Banks to meet one-on-one with homeowners seeking Sandy insurance settlement money

Dept. of Financial Services LogoGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that five of New York’s largest banks and mortgage servicers will have representatives available to offer one-on-one help to homeowners seeking the release of Superstorm Sandy insurance settlement funds at the Department of Financial Services’ Disaster Assistance Centers from Monday, March 4 through Saturday, March 9.

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KeyBank sells investment unit to NYC interests

KeyBank logoAllisa Kline, reporter for Buffalo Business First, writes that Business Council member KeyBank N.A. will sell its investment management subsidiary and broker dealer affiliate to a private equity fund for $246 million in cash and debt. Here’s the rest of her story:

KeyCorp, based in Cleveland, plans to use the gain from the sale to repurchase shares of its common stock. The financial institution must receive regulatory approval in order to buy back shares of its own stock.

Key is in the midst of a cost-savings reorganization. It aims to trim up to $200 million in expenses by the end of the year, in part through branch closures and job cuts.

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First Niagara creates new tri-state region

First NiagaraBarbara Pickney of The Business Review writes about First Niagara’s expansion into the tri-state region. Here’s here report:

First Niagara Bank has announced the creation—first reported by The Business Review in December—of a new tri-state region covering the Lower Hudson Valley of New York, Fairfield County in Connecticutt and Northern New Jersey.

The Buffalo-based bank had just one region in New York, the upstate territory led by Albany-based Peter Cosgrove. Its purchase last May of more than 100 former HSBC branches bolstered its position in the Hudson Valley and Connecticut, triggering the need for separate leadership. It now has 26 offices in the Hudson Valley and 14 in Fairfield County. There are no branches in New Jersey, but First Niagara serves the market as a commercial lender.

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Smaller banks earning some credit

Nice lead in the story Times Union editor Casey Seiler wrote for the following article on the impact small banks in helping small businesses and farms in these tough economic times. Here’s his report:

ALBANY — George Bailey, the beleaguered small-town banker in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” had the right idea: Small banks pack a significant financial punch, according to a report from the state Department of Financial Services.

Since coming on line on the fall of 2011, DFS has been trying to draw attention to the role played by these smaller institutions in an age of too-big-to-fail entities, while also trying to increase the overall number of banks seeking a state charter.

Community banks — defined as any state or federally chartered institution with less than $10 billion in assets — “build strong customer relationships which help attract local retail deposits,” according to DFS Superintendent Ben Lawsky. “These banks take deposits from their communities and then typically recycle them back into their communities in the form of loans.”

In particular, the report notes that community banks play a disproportionate role in sustaining small businesses and farms. While they hold approximately 22 percent of assets in the state’s Federal Deposit Insurance Company banks, they provide nearly 55 percent of all small business loans, and approximately 90 percent of small farm loans in New York.

Still smaller community banks with assets of $1 billion or less hold only about 6 percent of all FDIC-insured banking assets in the state, but make almost 28 percent of all small business loans, including 43 percent of small farm loans.

Kodak takes key step toward emerging from bankruptcy

Eastman Kodak Co. has moved a step closer to selling its digital imaging patent portfolio for $527 million.

The deal has been approved by a U.S. bankruptcy judge, according to the Rochester Business Journal.

Says the newspaper: ” A consortium organized by Intellectual Ventures Management LLC and RPX Corp. bought the patents. The deal, announced Dec. 19, includes a series of agreements, and involves sales and licenses. The consortium includes industry giants Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Google Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.”

Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection two years ago. The patent sale is considered a key move in its efforts to emerge from bankruptcy.