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New bank targets Latinos in South Bronx

Posted by Elena del Valle on December 11, 2007


Mac Wilcox, CheckSpring Bank; D. Lee Ezell, Community Board 4; Earl Brown, Bronx; Dimetris Giannoulias, CheckSpring Bank; Ruben Diaz, Jr., New York State Assembly; Congressman Jose E. Serrano; Eric Pallas, CheckSpring Bank; and Charles Wilcox, CheckSpring Bank

Photo: Miguel Rjl

In early November 2007, CheckSpring Bank opened its flagship branch on 167 Street in the South Bronx neighborhood of New York City, a few blocks north of the new Yankee Stadium. According to a bank representative, it is the first new bank headquartered in the neighborhood in 25 years. The new bank will target under-served and under-banked Latinos in the community.

“The opening of CheckSpring Bank is certainly representative of the continued and needed economic development that is now occurring in our Bronx community,” said Rita Di Martino, chair of the Board of the Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center.

CheckSpring offers traditional and non-traditional banking services to the area’s Latino community, and bilingual customer service in Spanish and English. Products include banking and loans for consumers and small businesses, check cashing from bank teller windows for depositors and the public, money transfers, as well as checking and savings accounts. The bank promises to discount check cashing fees for depositors.

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CheckSpring officials hope the bank’s convenient hours (the bank will open 8 am to 8 pm Thursdays and Fridays and Saturday mornings), location, innovative products and Latino oriented customer service will win over under-banked customers who historically have remained elusive.

“Our mission is to create a new kind of bank, one that provides Bronx customers with improved access to the full spectrum of financial services, and a suite of affordable banking products that serves people’s needs, facilitating savings and wealth creation,” said Charles Wilcox, cofounder and president, CheckSpring Bank. “We’re thrilled to be launching our headquarters branch of CheckSpring Bank on 167th St. and we anticipate a long and close association with customers and community influentials here in the Bronx.”

CheckSpring plans to work closely with local community organizations and support their efforts to provide financial education outreach programs to help the under banked community better access the tools they need to create and manage financial resources.

According to the bank’s website, the top three CheckSpring Bank executives are Eric Pallas, president, Rosa Pavia, chief operating officer and Wallingford Lee, chief lending officer.

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