Heritage Financial Credit Union to open financial development center in new banking development district

A new banking development district (BDD) has been approved for the city of Poughkeepsie, announced Adrienne Harris, New York State Department of Financial Services superintendent, late last week. The new BDD is part of New York state’s efforts to expand access to affordable financial services.  

Under the BDD Program, Heritage Financial Credit Union will open the financial development center, with the goal of increasing access to financial services for local residents and businesses.

“Heritage Financial Credit Union believes that providing opportunities for financial wellness starts with having access to educational tools and resources to enhance and increase the knowledge and understanding of financial services,” said Heritage Financial Credit Union President/CEO Mike Ciriello. “It is this belief that pushed us to move forward with our financial development center in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. and led us to discovering the NYS Banking Development District Program. The mission of our Center is to provide access to no-cost, one-to-one financial counseling, financial education and safe and affordable banking services to provide opportunities for financial inclusion and wellness.”

Ciriello said that Heritage Financial Credit Union appreciates and welcomes the approval of a BDD designation in Poughkeepsie by DFS and that the designation can help aid in economic development within the community and may help jump-start wealth creation for individuals, which is in alignment with its mission.

The BDD Program supports the establishment of bank and credit union branches in areas across the state where there is a demonstrated need for banking services, and 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, according to DFS.

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.

Groups that support small businesses, community organizations, and elected officials submitted letters in support of this BDD application, and the designation will further community engagement and reinvestment initiatives throughout Poughkeepsie, according to DFS.

Legislation allowing credit unions to participate in the state BDD Program was signed into law in 2019, and strongly advocated for and supported by the New York Credit Union Association. Association President/CEO William J. Mellin hailed passage of the law as a major victory for credit unions and a major victory for New Yorkers – especially those who reside in underserved and under-banked areas.

The BDD program was created in 1997 to encourage financial institutions to establish branches in economically distressed communities throughout New York where there is a demonstrated need for banking services.

More information about BDDs can be accessed on the DFS webpage.

Leave a Reply