Lookng for a better way to bank - Gentile urges financial institutions to enhance community outreach

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In a new effort to spotlight the role of local banks in the revitalization of their local communities, City Councilman Vincent Gentile spoke at a luncheon sponsored by the Bay Ridge branch of the Park Avenue Bank.

Headquartered in Manhattan, the Park Avenue Bank has opened a number of new branches throughout Brooklyn, offering a wide variety of business and personal services that cater to the diverse financial needs of Brooklyn residents.

In his address, Gentile encouraged local banks to enhance their outreach to neighborhood communities, and praised the Park Avenue Bank for its tangible endeavors in this regard.

Gentile outlined various positive changes taking place in the greater Bay Ridge area, such as the redevelopment of local parks that have previously been neglected.

“Having an opportunity to meet with leaders of the bank, as well as business and community members is a good way to exchange information, and share our visions and plans for future endeavors,” said Gentile.

Charles Antonucci Sr., president and chief executive officer of the Park Avenue Bank, informed the luncheon audience that, despite the public’s current economic concerns, the Park Avenue Bank has a positive perspective on the economy.

Antonucci noted that due to the bank’s recent expansion, it now has new opportunities that were not previously available, and it can be competitive in mortgages and other markets in ways that are sure to stimulate Bay Ridge’s economy.

“The Park Avenue Bank is committed to being an integral part of the Bay Ridge community,” said Antonucci. “It was an honor to have Councilman Gentile share his initiatives for the area’s revitalization while listening to the concerns of local residents. As we continue to build a strong presence in Brooklyn, we realize the importance of being an active member of the communities we serve.”

Antonucci provided the audience with an informative overview of the Park Avenue Bank’s array of products and services. As he explained, the bank’s “Gemstone Collection” of personal and business products encompasses uniquely categorized savings and checking accounts, many of which offer such beneficial features as competitive interest rates for low minimum balances, free online banking and bill pay, and free VISA Debit/ATM card.

He also described the bank’s full selection of Certificates of Deposit, designed for flexibility and both short-term and long-term planning.

Focusing on its commercial lending services for businesses, Antonucci emphasized that the Park Avenue Bank’s business experts work closely with local entrepreneurs to determine the most efficient method of structuring loans.

The bank president delineated the many advantages of his bank’s offerings in this category, including lines of credit, accounts receivable and inventory financing, term and SBA loans, and trade finance.

Antonucci concluded with a brief discussion of the Park Avenue Bank’s professional real estate lending services and gave some notable examples of the bank’s recent major real estate projects across the greater New York area.

Julie Thaum, associate broker at Remax Realty and a prominent real estate expert in Brooklyn, gave the audience a positive assessment of the current real estate market in the area.

“My business in the Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst communities is still quite good. We are concluding a significant number of real estate transactions with those buyers who are more qualified and with sellers who are serious about pricing their homes appropriat­ely,” she said.

As the event drew to a close, audience members expressed their satisfaction with the positive economic outlook being projected for their community.

Updated 3:48 pm, October 19, 2011
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