President and CEO of Flushing Bank
Over the past year, there has been a growing negative sentiment towards the banking industry. The latest headlines have been focused on the fees being charged for debit card usage. Community banks, like Flushing Bank, offer the consumer more economical choices.
Bank of America announced at the end of September that it would soon begin charging customers $5 a month if they use their debit cards for purchases, according to media reports. J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo are also testing $3 monthly debit card fees in some states.
With these new fees adding to an already challenging economic climate, Flushing Bank President and CEO John Buran said there are alternatives for growingly frustrated card holders.
“To avoid these fees, consumers are being asked to carry larger balances which for some may not be an option,” he said. “Community banks like ours have a different way of looking at this. At Flushing Bank, we believe it’s important to connect with the needs of the community that we serve.”
Buran said that as a community bank, Flushing Bank is efficient in its operations and diligent in managing expenses, which enables it to deliver low-cost banking services to its customers.
Along with not charging fees for debit card purchases, Buran said the bank has a variety of products and services geared to support and motivate consumers to keep using their debit cards, instead of having to hand over more money to the bank.
“Debit cards provide value and convenience to consumers and offer an alternative to credit cards,” he said. “We encourage our customers to use their debit card wherever and whenever it is convenient for them.”
For both businesses and consumers, Flushing Bank offers “Totally Free Checking,” in which there is no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fees. The bank also offers “BestRate Checking,” which allows customers who carry larger balances to earn competitive checking account interest rates. Customers can also use this as a savings account and a checking account, without the hassle of maintaining two accounts.
Additionally, according to Buran, as part of the bank’s marketing campaign, Flushing Bank will pay new checking customers up to $75 if they make five debit card transactions of $25 or more. For business checking customers, the offer is $50 for five debit card transactions of $25 or more.
“We think this is a tremendous value for our customers,” Buran said. “I think it’s important for people to know there are alternatives and that community banks are genuinely interested in establishing a relationship with their customers. At Flushing Bank, we believe that we are small enough to know you and large enough to help you.”
Flushing Bank has been helping families, business owners and communities grow and prosper for over 80 years. With 16 locations in the New York metropolitan area, including nine locations in Queens, the bank looks to continue in its tradition of following a community-based approach to banking relationships.