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First Niagara Reports Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2012 Results

"After our thorough evaluation of the CMO portfolio, including the substantial level of prepayments received in recent months as well as those expected to continue for the foreseeable future, we recorded an adjustment of $16 million to accelerate the premium amortization," said Mr. Norwood.  "With this adjustment, the remaining premium has been reduced to $74 million, or 1.6% of par at December 31, 2012, significantly reducing potential future volatility in our CMO yields."

Credit Quality

At December 31, 2012, the allowance for loan losses was $162.5 million, compared to $149.9 million at September 30, 2012.  Information for both the originated and acquired portfolios follows.

    Q4 2012     Q3 2012  
$ in millions Originated Acquired Total Originated Acquired Total
Provision for loan losses*  $ 21.3  $ 0.2  $ 21.5  $ 21.4  $ 0.4  $ 21.8
Net charge-offs  7.6  1.3  8.9  9.1  1.0  10.1
NCOs/ Avg Loans 0.24% 0.08% 0.18% 0.30% 0.06% 0.21%
Total loans**  $ 13,372  $ 6,514  $ 19,710  $ 12,233  $ 7,086  $ 19,106
(*) Excludes provision for unfunded commitments of $0.5 million and $0.4 million in 4Q12 and 3Q12, respectively
(**) Acquired loans before associated credit discount; see accompanying tables for further information

Originated loans

The provision for loan losses on originated loans totaled $21.3 million, unchanged from the prior quarter. This provision included $13.7 million to support sequential originated loan growth of $1.1 billion and $7.6 million to cover net charge-offs. Net charge-offs equaled 24 basis points of average originated loans in the fourth quarter of 2012, a six basis points improvement from the prior quarter.

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