FNFG

First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (FNFG)

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First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (FNFG)

Q2 2010 Earnings Conference Call

July 22, 2010 11:00 am ET

Executives

John Koelmel - CEO

Michael Harrington - CFO

Kevin O'Bryan - CCO

Analysts

Bob Ramsey - FBR Capital Markets

Brian Foran - Goldman Sachs

Jason O'Donnell - Boenning & Scattergood

Damon Delmonte - KBW

Rick Weiss - Janney Montgomery Scott

Collyn Gilbert - Stifel Nicolaus

Mathew Kelley - Sterne, Agee

Presentation

Operator

Greetings and welcome to the First Niagara Financial Group Second Quarter 2010 Earnings Release Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A brief question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. (Operator Instructions). As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, John Koelmel, President and Chief Executive Officer from First Niagara Financial Group. Thank you Mr. Koelmel, you may begin.

John Koelmel

Thank you very much Christine and good morning everyone, welcome again. As usual, I'm joined by Mike Harrington, our CFO and Kevin O'Bryan, our Chief Credit Officer.

Second quarter for us, another very solid performance and outcome on that from our standpoint was at least in line with our expectations. All the fundamentals keep moving in a very positive direction you see either strong balance sheet growth on the asset side. You continue to see the double digit type movement in our commercial portfolio in particular which I think is differentiating evidence of the effectiveness of our strategy and our approach and from the quality of the team that we have on the street day in and day out.

But, for us me in particular want to start with the Pennsylvania update, in particular since we last chatted we have now formally converted and begun to integrate Eastern Pennsylvania. So it's now little more than three months for that franchise in north of 10 for [Western PA] continues to demonstrate and take hopefully for all of you, the execution of risk question well that's mostly hung-over ahead but continually referenced as we have stressed our franchise, doubled our footing, moved into core-to-core bigger market, like to believe that with now the benefit of a more full look back albeit more to come, but the look back that you are able to see and evaluate, paints a very, very positive story and while I am very pleased to reference here briefly and Michael will take you through more of the detail.

And then not only as translated to date relative to core operating trends and statistics, but bottom line results we have talked year and 15 months ago when we announced [The national City] and our usual transactions we are expecting less than 2010 combined in those two transactions somewhere in the $50 million zone on an operating basis and I am proud to say that we are already more than a halfway there even with the delay and the timing of the Harleysville franchise, evidence of just how well those teams are executing in the organization overall continues to perform. Harleysville, senior about 100 days in core deposits about 95% of what we acquired even better, I think that how we came out of the gates in Western PA very nice household growth.

We are seeing positive trends there as well and on the loan side talking to Kevin before we got going here demand very, very strong and I think you see referenced in the release north of $300 million in new origination. So, evidence that we have come out of the gate very, very positively there as well as continuing to sustain real strong outcomes on the western side of the state.

Retail core deposits are now well north of a 100%, well north of what we acquired just kind of 11 months ago and I said to others that's well in advance of anything that we had modeled or otherwise suggested. The commercial loan demand continues to bump along very nicely there. As you see balance was up the better part of a $100 million or more and that pipeline continues to expand and what's been a nice best practice benefit there is their ability to execute on the wealth management side of the house has even been better than our historical pattern and performance and we are not leveraging that across the greater footprint.

So, be anything, but we miss if it just didn't give kudos to all those involved whether beyond the ground in Eastern as well as Western Pennsylvania. So, whereas the rest of the organization that continues to demonstrate our ability to execute, convert and integrate with the best of them.

Really good news is that none of that continues to come at the expense of the core business, the legacy business if you will where you continue to see that strong loan growth as everyone just started to report off late that's inconsistent in terms of who is able to grow that balance sheet in particular as the loan portfolio and this is at least four or five quarters in a row now where we continue to produce double digit growth on the loan side as well as on the deposit gathering front as well.

So, our ability to work the local markets continue to take share, whether we are competing against the bigger boys and girls or whether we are working more of the Q&D bank market, we believe we continue to differentiate in our performance. So it is reflective of that. On the credit front, punch line is couldn't be more proud of the team.

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