NYACK, N.Y., Feb. 6, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Building on the success of its entry last year into the Hudson Valley region, First Niagara has announced the formation of its new Tri-State Region, which includes markets in Lower Hudson Valley, Fairfield County, CT and Northern New Jersey. The central office for the Tri-State Region will be located in Nyack, NY, where First Niagara currently operates a branch office, and will be supported by its regional office in Norwalk, CT, which will continue to serve Fairfield County customers. Current centers of operations in New Haven, Hartford, and Manchester, CT – part of First Niagara's New England Region – will remain the same. The new Tri-State Region offers significant growth opportunities for First Niagara's commercial lending business in particular. The three markets in the region have a high concentration of large firms in the manufacturing, healthcare and other industries with substantial capital requirements. "The Tri-State market provides an exciting opportunity to better serve retail customers and expand our commercial lending business across this newly organized market footprint," said David V. Ring, Managing Director of Enterprise Banking for First Niagara. Ring noted that First Niagara is conducting a search for a Tri-State Regional President and is recruiting to fill key regional leadership positions. In addition to the new Tri-State Region, First Niagara's other geographic regions and markets include Upstate New York (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany); Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, Erie); Southeastern Pennsylvania (Metro Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley and Delaware, Chester, Berks, Montgomery and Bucks Counties), and New England (Greater Boston, New Haven, Hartford and Springfield). Last May, First Niagara completed the conversion of Upstate New York and Connecticut branches acquired from HSBC Bank USA, with the bank opening more than 100 former HSBC branches as First Niagara branches. First Niagara added more than 1,200 employees, including more than 250 in the Hudson Valley, and more than 500,000 new customers across New York and Connecticut.