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Financial Institutions, Inc. Announces 12.5% Dividend Increase for First Quarter 2013

Financial Institutions, Inc. Announces 12.5% Dividend Increase for First
Quarter 2013

WARSAW, N.Y., Feb. 20, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Financial Institutions, Inc.
(Nasdaq:FISI) (the "Company") announced today that its Board of Directors has
approved a $0.02 per share or 12.5% increase in its quarterly cash dividend to
$0.18 per outstanding common share. The Company also announced dividends of
$0.75 per share on Series A 3% preferred stock and $2.12 per share on series
B-1 8.48% preferred stock. All dividends are payable April 2, 2013 to
shareholders of record as of March 14, 2013.

"Balancing our return of capital to shareholders in the form of quarterly
dividend payments, while retaining our ability to invest in our business to
support growth initiatives both organically and acquisitively, continues to be
a fundamental aspect of our business strategy," said John E. Benjamin,
Chairman of the Company's Board of Directors. "The strength of our operating
performance and capital position has allowed us to increase our dividend
payment for the second consecutive quarter as part of our efforts to maximize
total shareholder returns."

The recent price of the Company's common stock along with the first quarter
2013 dividend on an annualized basis represents a dividend yield of
approximately 3.5%.

About Financial Institutions, Inc.

With over $2.7 billion in assets, Financial Institutions, Inc. provides
diversified financial services through its subsidiaries, Five Star Bank and
Five Star Investment Services, Inc. Five Star Bank provides a wide range of
consumer and commercial banking services to individuals, municipalities and
businesses through a network of over 50 offices in Western and Central New
York State. Five Star Investment Services provides investment advice,
brokerage and insurance products and services within the same New York State
markets. Financial Institutions, Inc. and its subsidiaries employ over 600
individuals. The Company's stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market
under the symbol FISI. Additional information is available at the Company's
website: www.fiiwarsaw.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

This news release may contain forward-looking statements as defined by federal
securities laws. These statements may address issues that involve significant
risks, uncertainties, estimates and assumptions made by management.Actual
results could differ materially from current beliefs or projections. There are
a number of important factors that could affect the Company's forward-looking
statements which include its ability to implement its strategic plan, its
ability to redeploy investment assets into loan assets, whether it experiences
greater credit losses than expected, the impact of the current management
transition, the attitudes and preferences of its customers, its ability to
successfully integrate acquired bank branches and profitably operate newly
opened bank branches, the competitive environment, fluctuations in the fair
value of securities in its investment portfolio, changes in the regulatory
environment and general economic and credit market conditions nationally and
regionally.For more information about these factors and other factors that
could affect the Company's forward-looking statements, please see the
Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q on
file with the SEC. All of these factors should be carefully reviewed, and
readers should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking
statements.Except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to
revise these statements following the date of this press release.

CONTACT: Karl F. Krebs
         Executive VP & CFO
         Phone:  585.786.1125
         Email:  KFKrebs@fiiwarsaw.com
        
         or
        
         Jordan M. Darrow
         Darrow Associates, Inc.
         Phone:  631.367.1866
         Email:  jdarrow@darrowir.com
 
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