As Roosevelt Island residents know, the island’s only bank branch, operated by New York National Bank, is set to close soon. Fortunately, Amalgamated Bank is willing to step forward to provide continued services to all current Island customers of NYNB.
I’m happy to report that we have taken a major step forward in making Amalgamated’s presence on Roosevelt Island possible. Historically, Roosevelt Island is “underbanked,” meaning that banks have chosen not to operate in the community unless they receive incentives to do so. For this reason, New York State’s Banking Department designates certain areas as “Banking Development Districts (BDD).” Under the BDD program, the State deposits public funds – up to $10 million per branch – in designated bank branches, in order to make them financially viable for underbanked communities.
As a member of the Assembly’s Committee on Banks, I worked with Committee Chair Darryl Towns to ask the State Banking Department to designate the island’s new Amalgamated branch as a BDD branch. I am thrilled to announce that on July 6, the NYS Banking Department agreed to the designation. This means that public funds will be deposited in the new Amalgamated Branch, providing the security it needs to serve as a reliable long-term bank for Roosevelt Islanders. Island residents can take comfort in having a local bank that will be around for many years to come.