First Niagara Financial Group announced plans to combine all of its consumer-facing businesses in order to more effectively serve its customers. Effective immediately, the company’s Retail Banking and Consumer Finance groups will be merged into one Consumer Financial Services team under the leadership of Mark Rendulic, EVP.

“Our customer is top of mind as we continue our strategic investments in products, services and delivery channels to transform First Niagara into one of the top-performing regional banks in the nation and create long-term shareholder value,” said Gary M. Crosby, president and CEO. “Consolidating our Retail Banking and Consumer Finance businesses will enable us to deliver greater value to our customers, through closer team collaboration, and will ultimately drive greater shareholder value.”

The newly combined Consumer Financial Services group will be comprised of the company’s Retail, Wealth Management, Consumer Direct Lending and Residential Mortgage businesses.

Rendulic noted, “Customers want a seamless and personalized banking experience, regardless of the channel they use or the solutions they are seeking. We are committed to providing consumers with the ability to manage their financial needs when, where and how it is most convenient for them. Bringing these already strong teams together into one group puts the delivery of our consumer offerings in one place and enables us to more seamlessly serve our customers.”

In connection with this business combination, First Niagara also announced that Andrew Fornarola, EVP, Consumer Finance, will be leaving the company.

“Andy has done a remarkable job putting in place the right people and infrastructure, while at the same time significantly growing our Consumer Finance business,” said Crosby. “I thank Andy for his service and for his many contributions to First Niagara.”