First Niagara Financial Group has expanded Buford Sears’ duties, naming him its Western Divisional Manager, with responsibility for commercial lending in Western New York and Western Pennsylvania.

Sears will also be First Niagara’s regional president for Western New York, reporting to Joseph Saffire, executive vice president, commercial financial services. Sears has served as the bank’s Buffalo market executive; he will continue to have those responsibilities in his enhanced role.