The Federal Reserve extended the public comment period for KeyCorp's proposed $4.1 billion takeover of First Niagara Financial Group until Jan. 31, after a lawmaker said communities affected by the deal need to weigh in.

The move is meant "to allow interested persons more time to review and provide comments concerning the proposal," the central bank said Wednesday in a statement.

Cleveland-based KeyCorp agreed in October to buy First Niagara, based in Buffalo, N.Y., to expand its reach in the Northeast U.S.

Senator Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York, urged regulators to give people more time to comment on the deal and to hold a public hearing to discuss concerns he has about its economic impact on the region.

"The proposed purchase of First Niagara by KeyCorp, another bank with a large overlapping upstate presence, should be a giant red flag for federal regulators," Schumer said in a Dec. 20 statement. "Because the potential economic and job force impacts are so significant, it is essential that federal regulators that must judge this proposed merger allow members of these local communities -- those who will be the most impacted - - to have their voices heard."

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