Magazine article American Banker

HSBC Trust Account Deal Fit Alliance's Growth Plan

Magazine article American Banker

HSBC Trust Account Deal Fit Alliance's Growth Plan

Article excerpt

Alliance Financial Corp. says a long-considered plan to buy part of HSBC Bank USA's personal trust business in upstate New York is a way for it to expand its high-net-worth business and diversify its income.

The Syracuse, N.Y., community banking company said last week that it had grasped the opportunity to expand in its upstate market, and HSBC said the deal furthered a repositioning of its personal trust business to emphasize larger accounts. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Jack H. Webb, Alliance's chairman, president, and chief executive officer, said in an interview Wednesday that the deal came now because the company wants to diversify its income. "With the current interest rate margins, we just want to make our way through," he said.

Mr. Webb said the opportunity presented itself to Alliance and the company had not sought it out. "This opportunity became known late last year, and it was seen as a good fit for us," he said.

"We have been stating for the last several years that we were looking for the right bank opportunity," Mr. Webb said.

The $860 million-asset company will open an office in Buffalo where HSBC's trust administration center serves the accounts to be bought. The deal is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings when it closes in December.

Mr. Webb said Alliance plans to retain the HSBC employees who administer most of the acquired accounts.

Alliance's overall strategy is to expand its Alliance Bank subsidiary fairly significantly in the next few years, Mr. …

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