KeyBank's $110 million acquisition last month of 37 HSBC retail branches in Buffalo and Rochester in upstate New York may seem like small potatoes next to Raymond James' acquisition of Morgan Keegan for $930 million. But what it lacks in size it makes up for in significance as bank programs eye the long-neglected mass affluent market with renewed interest.

One of the attractions for KeyBank was HSBC's mass affluent offering, Hugh Donlon, regional president for KeyBank's northeast region, said in a press briefing.

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