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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

News

From the Office of the New York State Comptroller

Thomas P. DiNapoli

December 13, 2017, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

DiNapoli: Neighborhood Banks Helping Stabilize, Revitalize City Communities

Comptroller Highlights Recent Deposits of $20 Million in Banking
Development Districts in Brooklyn and the Bronx


New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today visited Ridgewood Savings Bank, in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn and Spring Bank, in the South Bronx, to highlight the importance of Banking Development Districts (BDDs). The Comptroller's Office has deposited $10 million in state funds in each of the two bank branches.

"Residents of New York City, and the neighborhood businesses where they spend their money, shouldn't have to travel outside the community to cash a check, open a savings account, or apply for a loan," DiNapoli said. "The state's Banking Development District program helps open bank branches that provide financial services to communities that show a real need for retail banking services. Having a local bank can spur business growth, job creation and family savings. I am proud that my office and New York state have been able to deposit $20 million in these banks that will help them serve residents and businesses in Brooklyn and the Bronx."

"Access to affordable and consumer friendly neighborhood financial services are key to promoting personal savings and encouraging local economic development in areas like the Bronx," said Congressman José E. Serrano, who represents the Bronx's 15th Congressional District. "This is why over the years I have prioritized funding for Community Development Financial Institutions like Spring Bank. Banking Development Districts help expand banking services to the communities that need it the most. Having access to a bank account is key to establishing a financial foundation. There is no reason why anyone should be unbanked or have to travel too far to run basic errands like cashing a check because they don't have access to a bank in their community."

"Underserved communities need proper financial service institutions to provide the neighborhood with basic banking needs. Reducing the number of unbanked and underbanked New Yorkers remains a priority for the Assembly," said Speaker Carl E. Heastie. "I am glad Comptroller DiNapoli continues to invest and support the state's Banking Development District program, creating opportunities for residents and local businesses to thrive."

"Local banks are critical to the success of any community, and this initiative spearheaded by Comptroller DiNapoli will help provide Bronx residents with greater options when it comes to their banking needs, while also reducing their reliance on more expensive financial services. I want to thank Spring Banks and Ridgewood Savings Bank for their partnership on this important program, and Comptroller DiNapoli for his continued dedicated service to the people of this state," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

"I am pleased to see the establishment of a new banking development district in Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights, the first-such designation for our borough in nearly a decade," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. "As the co-applicant on this project with Ridgewood Savings Bank, my administration was proud to work on this effort and garner approval for it through our Borough Board. Addressing the needs of unbanked and underbanked consumers and small businesses is an investment in holistic community growth. The popularity of Brooklyn's brand must translate into prosperity for all Brooklynites, and I appreciate the Governor's Office and Department of Financial Services Superintendent Vullo's partnership in helping us advance that mission through millions in subsidized public deposits and additional benefits that will improve local financial services."

"The Banking Development District provides an opportunity for my constituents to have access to financial services without hefty fees and restrictions," said State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, who the Brooklyn's Senate District 25. "It is so important, especially for young people, families and small businesses to be able to access savings, capital and financial literacy programming. I welcome this investment from Comptroller DiNapoli and look forward to taking steps to expand community banking options even further."

"I commend New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and the New York State Legislature for investing in our local communities through the state's Banking Development District program," said Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley, who represents Brooklyn's 57th Assembly District. "There has long been a need for revitalization efforts within our communities. As a result of this program, residents and local business owners alike will be able to manage their finances and savings within their own neighborhood. By having a solid foundation for local banking and investment, our communities now have a greater opportunity to enjoy economic growth, job creation, and increased opportunities for banking and wealth management."

"Too many Bronxites and New Yorkers work hard for their pay check and then work even harder to find a way to cash the check without excessive fees or find access to a local bank in their neighborhood," said Assemblyman Michael Blake, who represents the Bronx's 79th Assembly District. "The $10 million commitment from the state thanks to Comptroller DiNapoli to Spring Bank will provide this remarkable community bank the opportunity to help give our fellow Bronxites greater economic and financial security. Increased economic development and ability to save more and spend less is the epitome of #BuildingABetterBronx."

"Neighborhood banks stabilize families and help lift communities out of poverty," said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson, who represents the 16th Council District in the Bronx. "They are a critical part of our work to eliminate inequity and bring financial services to underserved neighborhoods. I thank State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for supporting the mission of our community banks and highlighting their important work. I also commend Spring Bank for investing in the Southwest Bronx community and partnering with residents to end the cycle of poverty and build a strong, stable future for all.

"As chair of the Committee on Women's Issues and co-chair of the Women's Caucus, I want to thank State Comptroller DiNapoli and the New York State Legislature for investing in the economic development of our communities," said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo, who represents the 35th Council District in Brooklyn. "Aspiring home and small business owners, particularly women and minorities, often face unprecedented challenges in securing a mortgage, bank account, or line of credit. The creation of Banking Development Districts will expand greater access to the much-needed banking services and opportunities that will spur homeownership and entrepreneurship."

"Our Clinton Hill branch represents our community-based approach to banking. We maintain our belief that face-to-face banking and personal interactions result in positive experiences for members of the community and that experience is complimented by our comprehensive range of digital banking services," Leonard Stekol, Ridgwood Savings Bank President & COO said. "Our offerings are tailored to the area's unique needs and personalities. We design products and services specifically to accommodate the neighborhoods in which we live and work."

"When we headquartered in the South Bronx — the first bank to do so in 25 years — our mission was to build trust and create access to capital for those who have been traditionally underbanked," said Eric Pallas, President of Spring Bank. "Ten years later, we are proud to be part of this community and working toward a more financially inclusive economy for the families and businesses of the South Bronx. We are grateful to the New York State's Comptroller's Office for highlighting our designation and deposit from the Banking Development District. Partnership with the state supports us as we support our community."

Neighborhood banks can provide a cheaper alternative to high-cost check cashing stores or money transfer agents, open the door to creating personal wealth through savings accounts and promote home ownership by offering mortgages. A local bank can also provide capital for local small businesses that want to grow and create new jobs.

New York state's BDD program encourages banks to open branches in areas that need banking services. Ridgewood Savings Bank, at 1035 Fulton St. in Brooklyn, and Spring Bank, at 69 East 167th Street in the Bronx, entered the Banking Development District program earlier this year and each received a deposit of $10 million from DiNapoli's office.

Under the BDD program, created by the state Legislature, a bank applying for BDD designation must not only demonstrate that the community needs a bank, but also that it has community support. The law authorizes the Comptroller's office to deposit state funds in approved banks to help build a stable base of capital for the banks' operations.

The State Comptroller's Office currently has deposits totaling $205 million in 10 banks that have opened branches in BDDs throughout New York state.

About Ridgewood Savings Bank
Ridgewood Savings Bank is the largest mutual savings bank in New York state. With over $5.3 billion in assets, Ridgewood operates 34 branches across New York City's five boroughs, Long Island and Westchester and a mobile branch that serves 23 assisted living facilities. With a community-focused approach to banking, Ridgewood plans to open new branches and increase services in the years to come. The continued growth and success of Ridgewood Savings Bank speaks to the power of what can happen when you multiply the good.

About Spring Bank
Spring Bank is a certified Community Development Financial Institution headquartered in the Bronx. In 2007, the bank opened in the South Bronx, the only bank to establish its base in this New York borough in over 30 years. The bank opened its second branch in Harlem in 2012. Examples of Spring Bank's impact products include basic low-fee checking accounts, credit builder loans, small dollar loans such as the bank's Borrow-and-Save and Employee Opportunity loans, and business lines of credit for small businesses and non-profits.

For access to state and local government spending, public authority financial data and information on 140,000 state contracts, visit Open Book New York. The easy-to-use website was created to promote transparency in government and provide taxpayers with better access to financial data.


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