First Niagara Financial in Buffalo, N.Y., plans to close 17 branches and two drive-through locations in January.

A decline in branch traffic and a rise in digital banking led to the closures, the $38.6 billion-asset bank said in a press release Friday.

"Across the financial services industry branch traffic, and the number of transactions handled per branch, are declining and self-service transactions are increasing. First Niagara is no different," said Mark Rendulic, an executive vice president at the bank, in the release. "A majority of customers prefer online, mobile and ATMs for simple transactions — and their use of these technologies is growing."

The affected branches are located throughout First Niagara's four-state territory, in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Most of the branches are within three miles of another branch, the bank said in the release.

Following the closures, First Niagara will operate about 390 branches.

No details about staff layoffs were provided, although the bank said in the release that affected employees would either "transition to new, consumer-facing roles" or be able to apply for new positions.

The closures come just a month after the First Niagara consolidated several consumer banking groups — including its retail banking and residential mortgage units — into one department.

First Niagara announced in January that it would invest $200 million to $250 million over several years to upgrade its technology infrastructure.