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Financial Institutions enters into assurance of discontinuance with New York state

Financial Institutions, the parent company of Five Star Bank, has signed an Assurance of Discontinuance with the New York State Attorney General’s office related to an investigation into lending practices for minority residents within the City of Rochester.

The agreement supports Five Star Bank’s long-term growth strategy for the Rochester region, which it has been pursuing for the past several years.

"As the Attorney General’s office acknowledged, we cooperated fully with all of his office’s inquiries during this process, and we have at all times been committed to compliance with federal and state fair lending laws," said Richard J. Harrison, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Financial Institutions, Inc.

"It’s important to recognize that Five Star Bank’s 2011 examinations by the New York Department of Financial Services and the Federal Reserve Bank under the federal Community Reinvestment Act rated it as ‘outstanding’," Harrison continued. "We are pleased to come to a mutually-beneficial agreement with the Attorney General. We also look forward to continuing to build on our commitment to the Rochester community by opening new bank branches in the City and working with new customers to help them with their borrowing and banking needs."

Five Star announced in November 2014 that it will open a new Rochester branch later this year as part of the CityGate development. In addition, it has committed to opening an additional full-service branch in the City of Rochester in the next two years, with more details to come.

As part of the agreement, Financial Institutions will pay the State $150,000 to cover its costs.

An additional $750,000 in dedicated funds spread over three-years will be earmarked for ongoing business efforts consistent with Five Star’s growth initiatives in the Rochester market, and throughout Monroe County, including efforts focused on marketing to minority communities, as well as lending discounts and/or subsidies.