Press Release 

March 24, 2021

SUPERINTENDENT LINDA A. LACEWELL APPROVES NEW BANKING DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT IN THE EAST HARLEM NEIGHBORHOOD IN MANHATTAN 

Under BDD Program, Popular Bank Will Increase Access to Financial Services for Local Businesses and Residents 

Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell today announced the approval of a new Banking Development District (BDD) covering the neighborhoods of East Harlem, Harlem, Randall’s Island Park, and Ward Island Park, in the Borough of Manhattan, continuing New York State’s efforts to expand access to affordable financial services to all corners of the Empire State with community and local elected official’s support. As a result of today’s announcement, Popular Bank will expand its ability to offer local residents and small businesses access to competitive, affordable financial products, allowing banking diversity in a community that would otherwise be underserved. Popular Bank will also provide financial education to consumers and businesses, help foster financial empowerment and inclusion in the community. 

“With COVID-19 especially impacting low-income families and communities of color, it is now more essential than ever to provide these communities affordable banking products and services,” said Superintendent Lacewell. “DFS is committed to helping support the local economy which has been battered by the pandemic. Ensuring New Yorkers have access to financial services and products is a key component to help rebuild New York.” 

New York State’s BDD 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.  The program is a public-private collaboration among DFS, local communities, and financial institutions. Strong community support from local community organizations, residents, small businesses, and elected officials is a critical piece of establishing a BDD. 

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. The new BDD in the neighborhoods of East Harlem, Harlem, Randall’s Island Park, and Ward Island Park, in the Borough of Manhattan, Community District 11 will enable Popular Bank to provide access to products and services targeted to the needs of the local residents and small businesses in that community. Groups that support small businesses, community organizations, and elected officials submitted letters in support of this BDD application. The designation will further community engagement and reinvestment initiatives throughout Harlem, New York.  

“Popular Bank continues its commitment to foster financial health. We are very proud of the recent BDD designation to our East 116thStreet Branch,” said Popular Bank Chief Operating Officer Manuel Chinea. “The BDD program provides important resources to engage financial institutions to promote development in New York’s underserved communities. This initiative is increasingly important as we continue to meet the growing and diverse needs of our customers amid COVID-19 disruption and recovery.”

The Popular Bank branch located at 164 East 116th Street, New York, NY 10029 is the BDD program’s 52nd designation, and Popular Bank’s fourth BDD branch. Popular Bank’s other three BDD branches are located as follows:  a portion of Lower East Side in Manhattan; Community District 6 in the Bronx; and Community District 16 in Brooklyn.

For more information on the Banking Development District Program, please visit the DFS website

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