SUPERINTENDENT ADRIENNE A. HARRIS DESIGNATES NEW BANKING DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT IN THE SUNSET PARK AND WINDSOR TERRACE NEIGHBORHOODS IN BROOKLYN
DFS Also Approves Application of Popular Bank Branch to Participate in State Program to Increase Access to Financial Services for Businesses and Consumers in Historically Underserved Communities
Superintendent of Financial Services Adrienne A. Harris announced the approval of Brooklyn Community District 7 (CD 7), covering the neighborhoods of Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace, as a Banking Development District (BDD), continuing New York State’s efforts to expand and retain access to affordable financial services. In addition, the Superintendent approved Popular Bank’s Sunset Park Branch as a BDD branch, allowing it to access state supported benefits that encourage branches in underserved areas. The branch has committed to a series of community lending and financial education initiatives that will foster financial empowerment and inclusion in the community.
“The BDD Program is a critical tool which enables DFS to support affordable banking services and resources in underserved communities," said Superintendent Harris. “Each BDD we create supports our mission to build a more equitable financial services system in New York.”
New York State’s BDD Program, administered by DFS, supports the establishment of bank and credit union 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 organizations, residents, small businesses, and elected officials is a critical piece of establishing a BDD.
The designation of CD 7 as a BDD and the establishment of Popular’s Sunset Park Branch as a BDD participating branch will allow the Bank to be an on the ground partner with residents and small businesses to provide greater access to affordable banking products and services in the area. This is the third BDD that DFS has approved since Superintendent Harris joined DFS in September 2021.
To encourage participation in the BDD program, $10 million in subsidized public deposits and other benefits are made available to banks and credit unions that open or maintain a branch and offer affordable and accessible products and services in an underserved community. The BDD in Sunset Park has committed to increase access to low-cost bank accounts for unbanked members of the community; offer small business loans, commercial loans, residential mortgages, home equity lines of credit, personal loans, credit cards, and Credit Builder loans; extend capital to residents and business owners in CD7; and to sponsor financial education workshops in the community.
“For far too long, financial services have been made difficult or impossible to access by certain groups of people, contributing to systemic financial disenfranchisement. There is no doubt that our residents of Brooklyn would benefit from the establishment of transparent and affordable banking services, and we are excited to have Popular Bank work with the community to facilitate the financial empowerment of our borough,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “I commend Superintendent Harris’ leadership in identifying neighborhoods that would benefit from this initiative and providing opportunities for communities to secure the services they need to thrive.”
“We are proud that our Sunset Park location is now a Banking Development District (BDD) Branch,” said Bertha Rozier, Head of US Transformation and Retail Banking for Popular Bank. “The BDD program closely aligns with our commitment to promote the economic viability of the communities we serve and to offer our customers the financial opportunities they need to enhance their quality of life.”
“This is a great opportunity that has been approved by the Department of Financial Services, which would not only expand economic opportunity for our small businesses, but encourage and educate the hard-working members of our community that they are deserving of financial empowerment,” said Senator Andrew Gounardes. “I wish to congratulate Popular Bank in being a part of the solution and partnering with our Brooklyn neighborhoods on this important mission of improving financial access.”
The BDD is to be served by Popular Bank’s Sunset Park Branch, located at 4502 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11220.
The bank marks the state’s 55th BDD designation.
Learn more about the Banking Development District program on the DFS website.