Banks Aim to Forge East Side Ties with New Branches | Local News

Lucy Garcia-Ester, branch manager at the brand new Evans Bank facility.

Robert kirkham

“I can understand the community – how they struggle to be a professional, how to feed the family,” Garcia-Ester said. “Basically that’s why I’m here. I just want to provide the community with the tools to be successful. “

Meyers said Evans was preparing to roll out an unsecured consumer loan product, with lower credit requirements and lower interest rates, inspired by conversations with residents about what they needed at a new branch. . And the bank has added translation services for clients.

“It opened our eyes a lot,” she said.

Lisa Akers was with the Greater Buffalo Savings Bank when it opened a branch 15 years ago on Connecticut Street on the West Side, which she called a “bold, courageous and necessary move.”

Akers, now responsible for Evans’s Community Reinvestment Act mortgages, sees a parallel with the new Evans branch, to promote homeownership and community stabilization.

“When people say: what do you think is going to happen? “I say, ‘Look at the West Side a few years ago,” Akers said.

Westminster municipalities

The new branch is part of the redeveloped Westminster Commons project.

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Royce Woods, Evans’ vice president of community development and commercial lending, said projects like Westminster Commons – and the Evans branch inside – can be a catalyst.

“There is such a positive dynamic in this area,” said Woods. “Outside of Broadway Forge, there wasn’t a lot of development in that community. And I think this project has the opportunity to really spark that and create a positive momentum here.

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