Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank contributes to the Coalition for Debtor Education; bank plans to partner with educational organization for local seminars
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Victory State Bank, Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, has underscored its devotion to financial literacy with an $8,000 donation to the Coalition for Debtor Education (CDE).
CDE is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to help vulnerable consumers improve their financial-management skills. The organization was presented with the contribution late last month.
“Education about money matters is invaluable in bringing a positive resolution to those in financial difficulty,” said Ralph M. Branca, president and CEO of Victory State Bank. “The curriculum developed by the Coalition for Debtor Education should prove highly beneficial for our community.”
Victory State Bank and CDE anticipate providing joint seminars on Staten Island.
“The Coalition for Debtor Education thanks Victory State Bank for their very generous donation of $8,000,” said Carol O’Rourke, CDE executive director. “The bank’s support helps the Coalition fulfill its mission to improve consumers’ understanding and management of their financial affairs. The Coalition teaches financial education classes throughout the city and plans to meet with the bank’s Community Development group, to design a financial literacy program for the communities Victory State Bank serves on Staten Island.”
Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on Staten Island: The main office in Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.
Of these, the St. George and Rosebank branches are each located within one of the Island’s two Banking Development Districts (BDDs).
A BDD is an area that the New York State Banking Department has designated as under-banked.
“Victory State Bank is committed to providing the most vulnerable residents of these areas with the financial skills essential for well-being and future growth,” Branca said. “We always have believed that education and service are essential ingredients to building our Staten Island community.”
Victory State Bank is eager to work with the Coalition for Debtor Education in areas of Staten Island that are in greatest need, said Joseph J. LiBassi, chairman of VSB Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: VSBN), the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank.
“The coalition’s commitment to financial literacy and community involvement clearly complements the philosophy of Victory State Bank,” LiBassi said.
VSB Bancorp Inc. is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. Victory State Bank, a Staten Island-based commercial bank, commenced operations on Nov. 17, 1997. The Bank’s initial capitalization of $7.0 million was primarily raised within the Staten Island community. The Bancorp’s total equity has increased to $26 million, primarily through the retention of earnings. Victory State operates five full-service locations on Staten Island: The main office in Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.
The Coalition for Debtor Education (CDE), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, which has involved Fordham and New York Law Schools and their staff, was established in 1998. Since then, the CDE has produced, published, revised and evaluated a financial literacy curriculum that emphasizes not only traditional knowledge, but also adult learning methods and the psychology of money. CDE brings together multiple constituencies interested in consumers’ financial competence, consumer finance, predatory lending, foreclosure prevention and the bankruptcy system.