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Mobile bank to help boro seniors

A fully staffed, 40-foot-long "branch on wheels" will begin making outcalls to three senior homes in Long Island on June 24: Halandia Shores Senior Center in Baldwin, Halandia Court in Rockville Centre and Plattduetsche Home in Franklin Square. Once the Ridgewood-based bank gets state and federal approval, it will begin sending the mobile branch to spots in Queens and Brooklyn, said Vice President Walter Reese."Ridgewood's MobileBanking Center is an ideal solution for seniors who want to manage their banking needs, but perhaps find it difficult to travel to their local branch," Reese said. "We look forward to helping them continue their complete financial independence."William C. McGarry, Ridgewood's chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the bank-on-wheels will also make future stops at colleges, hospitals and community events. Right now, the center will be heading out every other week. "With travel to the bank a challenge for certain segments of our customers, we felt a responsibility as a community-focused bank to initiate convenient solutions for this population," McGarry said. The blue and white mobile center is a fully serviced bank with wheelchair access. It has indoor and outdoor teller windows, an ATM, private office and customer service desk. Users will be able to make deposits and withdrawals, cash checks, transfer funds, apply for loans and buy money orders and teller checks. The New York State Banking Department said the mobile branch is the first inn the state. "This innovative concept represents a forward-thinking approach by Ridgewood's management to ease worries that seniors often experience," said Manuel Kursky, deputy superintendent of the department. "Customers will enjoy this beautiful facility and the banking services it provides." Reach reporter Matthew Monks at news@timesledger.com or 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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