BY LYNN EDMONDS
Global Bank opened a branch in Flushing last Thursday, at a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by a whos who of local politicians, including City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Borough President Melinda Katz, state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) and former Borough President Claire Shulman.
The bank, based in Manhattan, will provide loans and mortgages to businesses and individuals in the fast-developing Flushing area. They will offer commercial loans, commercial lines of credit, residential mortgages, home equity loans, auto loans and personal loans.
Stringer recognized bank president Yungman Lee with a proclamation for his work in finance before they cut the ribbon.
“Today you get the Comptroller proclamation because of your work in finance and I just want to thank you very much and present this proclamation,” Stringer said.
He also spoke about the bank opening as a symbol of economic prosperity and development in Queens.
“It’s always great to see economic expansion right here in this great community, this great diverse community,” Stringer said.
“As the former Borough President of Manhattan, I’m glad I got out at the right time,” he concluded, to laughs.
Katz praised Global Bank for being in tune with the needs of the Flushing community.
“As city officials, we love it when businesses see the value in expanding to other boroughs,” she said. “What Global Bank has done is really come here to respond to what the community needs. To have a bank that really can respond on an individual basis to the financial needs of this community is truly an amazing gift that you give us.”
Stavisky said the bank would be particularly helpful in light of Flushing’s housing boom.
“With all the housing going up…[residents] are going to need a really big mortgage,” Stavisky emphasized. “I’m delighted that you’re here in the community. I think your name says it all. It’s a global bank for a global city, a global borough, and we are moving, as the borough president said, whether it be in housing or whether it be in social services.”
Kim said he and Lee had spoken in depth about how to support immigrant small business owners.
“We had some very profound conversations about uplifting this community and beyond for immigrant small business owners to really thrive in this tough economy,” Kim said, adding that there was a great deal of both opportunity and need in the area.
“Flushing produces the most number of jobs in the entire city of New York. We’ve seen tremendous growth over the last three decades. But we’re not getting the type of investment we need from government officials,” he said.
Former Borough President Claire Shulman reflected on how Flushing changed from a poor neighborhood with only one store on Main Street to the thriving area that it is today, as well as on the part that banks played in that transformation.
“You can always tell how well a community is doing by the number of banks,” Shulman said. “We welcome Global because Global is a wonderful institution that Flushing really needs this kind of institution, and we’re happy that they have decided to come here and serve this community.”
Lee is running for congress in the 7th congressional district, which encompasses Woodhaven and Ridgewood, as well as Lower Manhattan and Sunset Park in Brooklyn.