Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Reports that Roosevelt Island's Only Bank to Close

[Updated at 3:00 pm for the addition of the second paragraph and the revision of the fourth.]

According to a reader of this blog a letter has been sent to depositers at the Roosevelt Island branch of New York National Bank (a subsidiary of the Husdon Valley Holding Corporation) announcing that the branch is scheduled to close this June. I have not seen a copy of the actual letter and based on the above picture taken last night no public signs of the claimed closure are apparent.

Stephen Shane, President of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, confirmed the expected closing as RIOC received notification from NYNB as its landlord and as a depositor of the branch. According to Mr. Shane "neither the residents nor the merchants used it enough to make it economically viable [to NYNB]". RIOC has contacted Amalgamated Bank about the location but Amalgamated apparently does not want to repeat the failures of the former banks at that location.

As per this reader: This would be a terrible loss for the island since:
(1) It is the only bank here with full service,
(2) It serves the island businesses, seniors, disabled and those who cannot leave the island, and
(3) If the store is vacant will it be yet another storefront that RIOC would leave empty.

If the branch closes, the only bank ATMs on the island would be the two Chase ATMs and te ATM at Gristedes. The Chase ATMs are located at the Octagon and at the Duane Reade. It is unknown to this blogger if there are other ATMs at either Coler or Goldwater Hospitals.

My understanding is years ago there was an actual Chase Branch on the island and that only after a letter writing campaign to the State Banking Commission was NYNB found and brought to the island. It would appear that another grass roots effort may be needed if NYNB actually does close this branch.


  1. There's also an atm at Gristedes.

  2. Having a _slightly_ _decent_ bus connection with Queens/Astoria would solve any problem of "this-or-that-is-missing" on Roosevelt Island.

  3. I lived on Roosevelt Island for two years and it was an interesting experience. It is a good place for very young people or old people but not for everyone. It can be a very lonely place -there are no stores except Gristedes and last time I was there, it was terrible - now no banks!!??

  4. Maybe if the island gets the FDR memorial, all those tourists would need a bank.