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First Niagara Reports Third Quarter 2012 Operating Net Income Per Share Of $0.19

(a) Amount is shown net of tax and represents the gains recorded on the sale of $3.1 billion of mortgage-backed securities in the second and third quarters of 2012.

(b) Amounts are shown net of tax and represent expenses related to acquisition, integration, and restructuring. 

Loans

Average total loans increased $540 million, or 13% annualized over the prior quarter, excluding loans acquired from HSBC on May 18. This organic increase from the prior quarter was driven by sustained strength in all commercial loan categories and indirect auto loans.

Average commercial loans increased $463 million, or 17% annualized over the prior quarter, excluding the HSBC impact. Commercial business (C&I) loans averaged $4.5 billion, or a 24% annualized increase over the prior quarter. Commercial real estate loans increased 14% annualized to $6.6 billion. Average other consumer loan balances increased $229 million and was driven by $247 million of indirect auto originations at net yields of approximately 3.5% during the quarter.

Including the impact of the HSBC branch transaction, average loans increased $1.3 billion, or 29% annualized over the prior quarter.

Deposits

The Company's strategic focus on customer acquisition, in particular increasing consumer and business checking balances, resulted in average transactional deposits, which include interest-bearing checking and non-interest bearing balances, increasing to 31% of the company's deposit base, compared to 25% a year ago. New checking account openings per branch increased an annualized 10% over the prior quarter and 36% over the prior year. The New York state franchise was a meaningful contributor at 32% as the increased branch density and positive brand positioning in these markets continues to drive significant new customer acquisitions.

Average noninterest-bearing deposits, excluding accounts acquired through the HSBC branch transaction, increased 17% over the prior quarter. Interest-bearing checking deposits increased 5% over the prior quarter, excluding the impact of the HSBC deposits. These increases were offset by the company's pricing strategy to reduce higher-cost money market and savings balances.

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