Bloomberg said, citing people briefed on the matter, that First Niagara hired JPMorgan Chase to advise on possible moves.
Bloomberg noted the lender has a market value of about $3.2 billion and was the worst-performer in the KBW Bank Index last year before it was removed from the 24-company group.
A review of the bank’s 2014 10-K revealed that First Niagara reported a 2014 net loss of $745 million compared to net income of $265 million a year earlier, primarily as a result of a non-cash impairment charge of $1.1 billion which represented a write down of the carrying value of the Banking reporting unit. In May 2012, First Niagara acquired 137 full-service branches from HSBC Bank USA located in the Central & Downtown New York and Connecticut markets.
First Niagara has $38.5 billion in assets, $28.0 billion of deposits and $4.4 billion of equity.