Branches in New City and Suffern have exceeded expectations, says HVB
BY KATHY KAHN
Five years into Hudson Valley Bank’s official entry into the Rockland marketplace with its first branch in New City in 2007 and the opening of a second branch in Suffern in 2012, HVB’s Senior Vice President John Bartolotta says the bank has been so buoyed with the reception its received, plans for another strategically located branch are on the horizon.
“We’ve always considered ourselves part of the Hudson Valley,” said Bartolotta, who joined HVB five years ago after a long association with the former Union State Bank. “Many of my former co-workers came to Hudson Valley Bank after USB was sold. We really have an in-depth knowledge and commitment to Rockland and the mid-Hudson, and since we do business locally, our clients are never more than two hours away from us. I think keeping local business as our focus is a tremendous asset for owners—they are busy, often multi-tasking, and having a banker that can be there in person to work with them, rather than going through a maze of corporate channels, is a great advantage.”
The community support for the bank’s two Rockland branches has only affirmed HVB’s commitment to the county. “We started both de novo, and have grown both to just shy of $100 million in deposits and another $100 million in total loans, well beyond our projections.”
Bartolotta says the migration west across the Tappan Zee Bridge is “a natural for us. We are Westchester-based and are strong in that county, as well as the Bronx and Manhattan.” HVB’s six Connecticut branches were closed so it could focus on growing in its Rockland territory.
Hudson Valley Bank offers several services for business, including a strong attorney segment, handling relationship for nearly 1,200 legal firms. Another focuses on property management, providing a full array of services for property managers, including NYSERDA loans for conversion from oil heat to gas; a commercial real estate group, as well as a Not for Profit division, lending to churches, hospitals synagogues and assisted living centers and other non-profit organizations (Non profits, take note: The Hudson Valley Bank Foundation, established in 1981, have been active contributors to Hudson Valley Healthcare Services, Make-A-Wish Foundation and others in the region )
For small and mid-sized businesses, Hudson Valley Bank offers the services of A.R. Schmeidler, a wholly owned investment subsidiary, which manages portfolios, stocks, bond, trusts as well as other financial services. “It’s a natural synergy for our clients, said Bartolotta, who says many clients like to have both banking and financial management under one roof.
“We are very excited to be in Rockland,” said Stephen R. Brown, Hudson Valley Bank’s President/CEO. “We believe we have a lot to offer businesses throughout the county, from state-of-the-art deposit services to commercial and residential lending…more importantly, we offer a level of personal service not found at many banks today, creating a private banking experience for all of our customers.
“From a business perspective, we see Rockland as a great fit for us,” continued Brown. “It has a strong concentration of niche businesses we have been serving for more than 40 years. It’s been very rewarding to see how, in a short time, we have developed a significant and loyal customer base. We definitely plan to build on that.”
Hudson Valley Bank is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “HVB.” Its total assets as of third quarter 2013 is just over $3 billion.