July 02, 2012
Contact: Ron Klug: 518-486-6976
FINANCIAL SERVICES SUPERINTENDENT LAWSKY APPROVES FOUR MORE BANK CONVERSIONS TO STATE CHARTERS
Banks Headquartered in Kings, Westchester and Monroe Counties Sought Change from Federal to New York State Regulation
Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services (DFS), today announced that four more banks have converted to New York State charters as the Department continues to strengthen the state chartered banking system.
The four banks are The Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh in Brooklyn in Kings County, CMS Bank of Mt. Vernon in Westchester County, NorthEast Community Bank of White Plains in Westchester County and Fairport Savings Bank of Fairport in Monroe County.
Banks are able to choose to operate under federal or state charters. The banks converting to state charters had been regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
“Strengthening the state charter system is one of the Department’s major objectives because it encourages banks to grow and create jobs for New Yorkers” Superintendent Lawsky said.
“Converting to state charters makes good business sense. It allows banks to be supervised by regulators who have a great understanding of the banks’ local business dynamics. Banks are finding state regulators to be accessible, flexible and responsive to their needs,” the Superintendent said.
Peter M. Boger, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ridgewood Savings Bank and a member of the State Charter Advisory Board, said: “I am very pleased to see four additional banks converting to the New York State Charter. I believe these institutions will experience a very thorough, responsive and professional examination approach from the New York State Department of Financial Services, particularly on the lending side, where they have historically demonstrated a high degree of valuable ‘local knowledge’.”
Eugene Peter Forrestel II, president and chief executive officer of the Bank of Akron in Erie County and a member of the State Charter Advisory Board, said: “This is good news for banking in New York State, as four banks have chosen to convert to a state charter. Their conversion is a testament to the value offered by the state charter, and the effective working relationship that exists between the Department of Financial Services and the banks that it regulates.”
Brian E. Hickey, of Pittsford in Monroe County, the executive vice president of M&T Bank Corporation and a member of the State Charter Advisory Board, said: “It is great to have more banks as part of the New York State banking system. The New York State Department of Financial Services has the unique ability to combine its regulatory responsibilities with the needs of New York consumers in an environment that allows banks to operate at a high level."
John M. Tolomer, president and chief executive officer of The Westchester Bank of Yonkers and a member of the State Charter Advisory Board, said: “I am pleased to welcome the four banks approved by Superintendent Lawsky to convert to a state charter. They will find working with the Department of Financial Services to be a constructive process as they bring a unique understanding of the New York marketplace and challenges presented to the banks.”
Six banks have converted from federal to state charters since DFS was formed last fall with the merger of the former state Banking and Insurance Departments. The Department expects this trend to continue.
The Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh focuses on residential mortgages and commercial lending. The bank has assets of approximately $4 billion.
CMS Bank focuses on residential, commercial real estate, consumer and small businesses loans, primarily in Westchester, Dutchess, and Putnam Counties, as well as Fairfield County, Connecticut. The bank has assets of approximately $247 million.
NorthEast Community Bank focuses on multi-family and mixed-use real estate lending. The bank has assets of approximately $492 million.
Fairport Savings Bank focuses on originating one-to-four-family residential real estate mortgage loans and home equity lines of credit, as well as originations of commercial real estate, construction and consumer loans. The bank has assets of approximately $214 million.
There are more than 250 state chartered banks and licensed foreign branches and agencies in New York with assets of $2.1 trillion. Earlier this year, Superintendent Lawsky appointed the nine members of a new State Charter Advisory Board. The board advises the Superintendent on ways to further promote the state banking system.