Kearns pressing First Niagara over planned takeover

Feb 9, 2016

A local state assemblyman says First Niagara Bank should give back $28 million it has received to create jobs. If the financial institution is taken over by Key Bank, the move cost 1,800 jobs.

Assemblyman Mickey Kearns claims First Niagara could owe millions to New York State.
Credit WBFO News File Photo

Assemblyman Mickey Kearns says he has written to Governor Cuomo saying there should be a "clawback" of the money. According to the South Buffalo Democrat, almost as much will be paid to executives if the deal goes through.

"First Niagara knew back in 2011 what the terms of that agreement was, with the State of New York. I believe when you are looking at losing more than 1,800 jobs as a result of that merger, we can't turn the other way," Kearns said.

Under the state's Excelsior program, Kearns says First Niagara gets nearly $6 million a year in tax credits for job creation. First Niagara didn't return a call asking about Kearns seeking the "clawback."

Follow Up:

First Niagara says it has only received $2.4 million in tax credits, not the total stated by Assemblyman Kearns.