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FLEET/NORSTAR TO MERGE ALBANY, BUFFALO BANKING UNITS

 FLEET/NORSTAR TO MERGE ALBANY, BUFFALO BANKING UNITS
 ALBANY, N.Y., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Fleet/Norstar Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: FNG) will merge its Buffalo-based Norstar Bank, N.A. with Norstar Bank of Upstate NY, Albany, it was announced today by John B. Robinson Jr., executive vice president. The company's Long Island-based institution, Norstar Bank, will not be merged with the Albany and Buffalo banks at this time.
 The consolidated bank will be a state chartered institution and, subject to pending shareholder approval of the corporate name change of the parent, will be known as Fleet Bank of New York.
 Robinson also announced that Robert F. Macfarland, chairman and chief executive officer, Norstar Bank of Upstate NY, will assume those titles in the consolidated bank, and Erland E. Kailbourne, currently chairman and chief executive officer of Norstar Bank, N.A. will serve as president and chief operating officer of Fleet Bank of New York. The bank will be headquartered at Kiernan Plaza, Albany.
 "After a period of careful examination of all aspects of consolidating our New York operations, we concluded that the similarities in markets of the Albany and Buffalo banks make a combination of these institutions a natural step toward enhanced service to our customers," Robinson stated. "Our market analysis demonstrated that a merger of the two banks would enable us to preserve traditional, local responsiveness and achieve some economies of scale in almost all aspects of our operations."
 The combination of the two banks will result in an institution with $10 billion in assets, 248 branches located from Jamestown in the west to Plattsburgh in the north and Orange County in the south and 6,000 employees. The merger will produce the largest of the seven banks in the northeast operated by Fleet/Norstar.
 Robinson said that Fleet/Norstar's Melville, Long Island unit, Norstar Bank, will continue to operate as a separate subsidiary in recognition of the distinct features of the New York metropolitan market. Thomas A. Doherty will continue as chairman, president and chief executive officer of the downstate bank.
 "The metropolitan area is a large, concentrated, urban and suburban region with very different market characteristics than those of upstate New York," Robinson noted. "There are opportunities in that region for growth which we believe can be maximized by management located within the region."
 The merger of the Albany and Buffalo banks, subject to approval by the Federal Reserve Board and the New York State Banking Department, is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 1992, and customers should experience no disruption in service as systems are integrated. Fleet/Norstar has extensive experience in bank consolidation and is viewed as a leader in that process within the financial services industry.
 Fleet/Norstar Financial Group is a diversified financial services company listed on the New York Stock Exchange with approximately 1,300 offices nationwide. Its lines of business include commercial and consumer banking, mortgage banking, consumer finance, asset-based lending, investment management and student loan processing.
 -0- 3/31/92
 /CONTACT: Robert W. Lougee Jr., vice president, 401-278-5879, Thomas L. Lavelle, 401-278-3003, Karen L. Wodarczak, 716-849-3616, or Thomas E. Garlock, 716-847-4496, of Fleet/Norstar/
 (FNG) CO: Fleet/Norstar Financial Group, Inc. ST: New York IN: FIN SU:


EG -- NE007 -- 3385 03/31/92 11:46 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 31, 1992
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