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Community Bank Receives Regulatory Approval For Branch Acquisition

Community Bank System, Inc. (NYSE: CBU)

The Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) has approved Community Bank, N.A.’s acquisition of 16 branches from HSBC Bank USA, N.A. (“HSBC”). At the July 20, 2012 closing, Community Bank, N.A. will be acquiring the HSBC branches located in the following New York communities: Gowanda, Springville, Westfield, Palmyra, Newark, Geneseo, Watkins Glen, Avon, Watertown (2), Plattsburgh, Oswego, Fulton, Lowville, Adams, and Alexandria Bay.

“We are very pleased to have received the OCC’s approval which was required to complete the transaction on July 20 th as planned,” said Community Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Mark E. Tryniski. “We are working closely with HSBC to ensure a smooth transition, which we expect will be seamless for customers. We will be mailing welcome packets to all of our new customers prior to the transition. The packet will include information about the transition, and our services, products, nationally recognized financial strength and community focus. We believe the additional branches will greatly strengthen our services to our Upstate New York customers with the addition of new resources, people and locations.”

About Community Bank System

Headquartered in DeWitt, N.Y., Community Bank System, Inc. has $6.9 billion in assets and over 170 customer facilities across Upstate New York, where it operates as Community Bank, N.A., and Northeastern Pennsylvania, where it is known as First Liberty Bank & Trust. Its other subsidiaries include: Benefit Plans Administrative Services, Inc., a national employee benefits consulting and trust administration firm with offices in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas; the CBNA Insurance Agency, with offices in five northern New York communities; Community Investment Services, a wealth management firm delivering financial products throughout the Company’s branch network; and Nottingham Advisors, an investment management and advisory firm with offices in Buffalo, N.Y. and North Palm Beach, Florida. For more information, visit: www.communitybankna.com or www.firstlibertybank.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following factors, among others, could cause the actual results of CBU’s operations to differ materially from CBU’s expectations: the successful integration of operations of its acquisitions; competition; changes in economic conditions, interest rates and financial markets; and changes in legislation or regulatory requirements. CBU does not assume any duty to update forward-looking statements.

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