Superintendent Lawsky Announces Elmira Savings Converts to State Charter

Superintendent Lawsky Announces Elmira Savings Converts to State Charter

First new State charter since creation of Department of Financial Services, more to come

Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, announced today that Elmira Savings Bank is the first bank to convert to a New York State charter under the new Department of Financial Services. Banks operating in New York have the choice of having either a state or federal charter.

Superintendent Lawsky said, “One of the goals of the new Department of Financial Services is to promote the state banking charter. The state charter allows banks to be supervised by regulators who are more accessible, flexible and responsive, and have a greater understanding of their home markets. By being more closely attuned to local institutions' needs and markets, state regulators are better able to provide supervisory guidance and support during challenging economic periods. As the state bank regulator, we have a unique understanding of the business dynamics here in New York. Our balanced approach to prudential supervision and enforcement promotes economic growth.”

Several federal savings banks in New York are in the process of submitting applications for conversion to a state charter. Supervision by state bank regulators encourages industry innovation, while also protecting consumers. States have a strong history of consumer protection, taking an early lead on anti-predatory lending laws and foreclosure prevention, and reaching landmark settlements with large mortgage bankers. The Department of Financial Services is the chartering agency for the majority of banks officially headquartered within New York State.

The Department of Financial Services was created by combining the New York State Banking and Insurance Departments to modernize regulatory oversight of the State’s financial services industry.

Following the conversion, The Elmira Savings Bank, FSB will become Elmira Savings Bank. Elmira Savings was established in 1869. The Bank's principal office is at 333 East Water Street in Elmira. The Bank’s primary market areas are centered in Elmira and Ithaca, New York, and include the surrounding communities in the southern tier and central New York region.

The Bank, a stock-form savings bank engaging in traditional activities, is listed on the NASDAQ under the symbol ESBK. As of September 30, 2011, the Bank had total assets of $518 million, total deposits of $374 million, and equity capital of nearly $65 million.

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