GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES NEW BANK OPENING IN TOWN OF WILSON, HELPING STRENGTHEN LOCAL ECONOMY ALONG LAKE ONTARIO WATERFRONT

DFS Approves New Banking Development District in Town of Wilson, Niagara County

Under BDD Program, Newly Opened Branch of Bank of Akron Becomes First Bank within 15 Miles Roundtrip of Town of Wilson, Supporting Local Businesses and Residents

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of a new bank in the Town of Wilson in Niagara County, continuing the state's work to strengthen the local economies along Lake Ontario's waterfront. The newly opened branch of the Bank of Akron is the only brick and mortar bank within 15 miles roundtrip of the town and was enabled by the New York State Department of Financial Services' designation of the Town of Wilson as a Banking Development District.

"New York is committed to investing in resiliency and economic development in the communities along Lake Ontario's waterfront," Governor Cuomo said. "The new branch of Bank of Akron will support the small businesses and families in the Town of Wilson by providing access to critical financial services, in turn building stronger communities."

Department of Financial Services Superintendent Linda Lacewell said, "New Yorkers should have equal access to basic banking services. Until today, Town of Wilson residents had to travel nearly 15 miles roundtrip to access affordable banking products. Thanks to New York State's BDD program, DFS is proud to support Governor Cuomo's ongoing efforts to strengthen and revitalize communities along Lake Ontario's waterfront and spur opportunities for economic growth and job creation for residents and main street businesses. Congratulations to the Town of Wilson and the Bank of Akron on this exciting news."

New York State's Banking Development District program, administered by DFS, is designed to encourage the establishment of bank branches in areas across New York State where there is a demonstrated need for banking services. To encourage bank participation in the BDD program, $10 million in subsidized public deposits and other benefits are made available to banks that open or maintain a branch or improve products and services offered in an underserved community.

About BDD in Town of Wilson

The new BDD in the Town of Wilson allows Bank of Akron to open and operate a new branch. Currently, the nearest bank branches are approximately 15 miles roundtrip from the town's boundary, and the new Bank of Akron BDD branch will provide needed access to banking services for residents and local businesses. The new branch will help foster economic development; provide affordable, low-cost banking products and services; and provide financial education to prospective homebuyers, small business owners and residents, including education tailored specifically to the needs of seniors.

Anthony J. Delmonte Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Akron said, "We are proud to expand access to banking services in Wilson. In partnering with the New York State Department of Financial Services and the Town and Village of Wilson on this BDD program we will be able to serve a new community where we look forward to building strong, trusting relationships. Since opening our doors nearly 120 years ago, Bank of Akron has always put people first. Today, we are excited to help fill a void for individuals in-need and to become their local bank."

Senator Robert G. Ortt said, "I am pleased to see the approval of a new Banking Development District in the Town of Wilson. This approval is a great investment for our families and businesses to manage their finances right here at home."

Assembly Member Michael J. Norris said, "Rural areas across New York State are facing similar issues of larger national banks pulling resources out of small towns and leaving communities with no place to turn for their financial needs. The impact of an established community bank, such as the Bank of Akron, in the Town of Wilson cannot be overstated, not only for Wilson, but for the neighboring communities such as Ransomville and Olcott as well. This will have large sweeping net benefits across the Niagara County shoreline communities in being attractive locations for residents and businesses in which to stay and move to."  

Wilson Town Supervisor Doyle Phillips said, "Receiving basic banking services shouldn't cause a headache. The approval of this BDD will help ease the burden of gaining access to inexpensive financial products and services for local communities in Niagara County."

Village of Wilson Mayor Arthur Lawson said, "Main street businesses and homeowners often struggle to find access to a loan or low-cost banking services. This approved BDD presents an opportunity to help close this banking gap and we commend DFS and the Bank of Akron for partnering to serve the Wilson community."

More information on the Banking Development District Program is available on the DFS website.

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