Five Star Bank Helping to Create the Future of Banking

WARSAW, N.Y., Nov. 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Five Star Bank (the “Bank”), subsidiary of Financial Institutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:FISI), announced today that it has joined a consortium of community and mid-sized banks to more effectively and efficiently adopt technology. The goal of the consortium is to quicken the pace of innovation, helping to level the playing field and enable institutions like Five Star Bank to compete against large, national players.

The Alloy Labs Alliance was launched in 2018 by twelve founding banks from across the country and has grown to over 40 institutional members.

“Five Star Bank recognizes that its consumers and businesses are increasingly seeking to engage through digital channels to meet their daily banking and lending needs,” said Martin K. Birmingham, President and CEO of Five Star Bank. “The Alloy Labs Alliance is another step in our rapid evolution in delivering a personalized digital experience that spans the full breadth of our customers’ banking needs.”

Earlier this year, in response to changing customer behaviors and preference for digital channels, Five Star Bank significantly enhanced its digital banking capabilities to deliver “anytime, anywhere” banking with a wide range of new features and financial tools for businesses and individuals.

“Five Star Bank is committed to a thoughtful partnership strategy to quickly deliver compelling digital products and services that meet customer expectations,” said Sean Willett, Chief Administration Officer of Five Star Bank. “Being part of the Alloy Labs Alliance gives us access to forward-thinking peers, the ability to share best practices and resources, and will further accelerate our digital capabilities.”

Members of the Alloy Labs Alliance take part in exclusive research, surveys and benchmarking, and have the opportunity to join peer Workgroups to address the needs of specific customer groups or technologies. Members also participate in the newly launched Concept Lab, a reverse accelerator program that allows banks and emerging technologies to work together to build new products that create opportunities for the banks to differentiate their services.

“We are excited that Five Star Bank has joined the Alloy Labs Alliance,” said Jason Henrichs, cofounder of FinTech Forge, which manages the consortium on behalf of its members. “They bring a strong commitment to serving their customers, and also a strong commitment to continuous improvement,” Henrichs continues. “We are looking forward to their contributions to the group’s efforts.”

“No bank can afford not to innovate in this day and age, but it’s not very efficient or even very effective for them to try to do it all themselves internally,” added FinTech Forge’s cofounder, JP Nicols. “We built the Alloy Labs Alliance as a shared innovation lab to help member banks share the costs and the risks of testing and trying new things in a structured and managed process,” Nichols says. “Maybe even more importantly, they can share the learnings with their peers, so they can get to market more quickly.”

About Five Star Bank and Financial Institutions, Inc.

Five Star Bank provides a wide range of consumer and commercial banking and lending services to individuals, municipalities, and businesses through a network of more than 45 offices throughout Western and Central New York State. Additional Five Star Bank information is available at and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Five Star Bank, SDN Insurance Agency, LLC (“SDN”), Courier Capital, LLC (“Courier Capital”) and HNP Capital, LLC (“HNP Capital”) are subsidiaries of Financial Institutions, Inc. SDN provides a broad range of insurance services to personal and business clients. Courier Capital and HNP Capital provide customized investment management, investment consulting and retirement plan services to individuals, businesses, institutions, foundations and retirement plans. Financial Institutions, Inc. and its subsidiaries employ approximately 630 individuals. Financial Institutions, Inc. stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol FISI. Additional information is available at

About Alloy Labs Alliance

The Alloy Labs Alliance, founded by FinTech Forge along with leading regional and community banks, is a member-driven shared innovation lab that helps banks innovate effectively and efficiently to reduce risks, lower costs, and shorten the time between ideas and results.

FinTech Forge is the industry leader in helping financial institutions build and leverage their innovative capacity internally and through strategic fintech partnerships and investments. Their trademark FIRE™ process (Fast, Iterative, Responsive Experiments) leverages the best practices of modern agile business methods to create value quickly with minimum wasted efforts. More information at

Media Contacts

Five Star BankAlloy Labs Alliance
Shelly DoranJP Nicols


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