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First Niagara plans to eliminate 170 jobs

First Niagara Financial Group, the parent company of First Niagara Bank, is reportedly planning to eliminate nearly 170 administrative jobs across its 420 branches in the country.

"As in-branch positions are redefined to more broadly serve customers, the new branch model will result in the reduction of up to 170 administrative positions across the company’s four-state footprint," the bank said in a release.

Additionally, the lender is also considering shutting down almost 10 bank offices, saying that increasing penetration of online and mobile banking has reduced the need of branch banking.

First Niagara retail banking executive vice president Mark Rendulic was quoted by as saying that the bank is moving administrative duties out of its branches, a shift that led to the job reductions.

"As we have in the past, we’ll work very hard to place individuals in available positions, and a lot of employees, particularly branch employees, have a broad skill set that can be applied in a number of areas," Rendulic told the news portal.

The bank said that over 140,000 customers have signed up for its mobile banking application in its first year, and more than 40% of its one million customers are registered for online banking.

The lender said that it is implementing "universal bankers," model, where more branch staff will be able to serve a broader set of customer needs.