First Niagara Financial Group in Buffalo is planning to add 500 new jobs over the next five years to support its rapid expansion.

According to a report in the Business Review of Albany, N.Y., most of the jobs will be in western New York and will include a mix of customer-facing and back-office jobs. The bank estimates that the newly created jobs will have average annual salary of $78,000.

The bank will receive tax breaks and incentives from the Empire State Development Corp. and other local economic development agencies that could top $5.7 million, according to the Business Review story.

Few banks are growing as quickly as First Niagara. In the last two years it has more than tripled its assets, to $30 billion, through a series of acquisitions in New York, Pennsylvania and New England. It completed its most recent deal in April, when it acquired the $9 billion-asset NewAlliance Bancshares Inc. in New Haven, Conn. The company now has 346 branches and 2,500 employees in four states.

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