National Bank Canada Opens Buffalo Office

NEW YORK -- National Bank of Canada has opened a representative office in Buffalo.

The bank, Canada's sixth largest, is the second with an office in Buffalo. Royal Bank of Canada, the country's No. 1 bank, opened a branch last year.

Roger Smock, senior vice president of National Bank's U.S. operations in New York, said the Buffalo office will generate loans to small and medium-sized U.S. and Canadian corporations.

"Canadian corporations are showing a lot of interest in expanding in the United States, and Buffalo is a gateway city," Mr. Smock said.

Free Trade Agreement

Banking sources said other big Canadian banks are considering openings in Buffalo to handle the increase in cross border trade that has resulted from the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement signed last year.

National Bank has close to 12% of its $34 billion in assets in the United States.

The Montreal-based bank last year acquired Bank of New England's asset-backed finance unit, which had $650 million in assets and eight offices around the country.

The unit, since renamed National Canada Finance Corp., recently added a ninth office in Boca Raton, Fla.

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