Albank Financial Corp. gained a stronger foothold in the commercial lending market Monday, buying 35 KeyCorp branch offices in New York State.

The thrift company paid $37 million, or 7% of the average deposit balance, for the branches, which are scattered throughout upstate New York and the Hudson Valley region.

The deal added $540 million of deposits to Albank's growing portfolio and boosted assets to around $4 billion. Albank also strengthened its commercial loan operation, acquiring $55 million in business loans as part of the transaction.

Albank now has 108 branches in New York, Vermont, and western Massachusetts. The former KeyCorp branches are now operating under the name Albank Commercial.

-Alan Kline

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