Between its Jan. 29 opening and Feb. 17, the new branch received $5.6 million in deposits, according to Thomas Ritter, Ridgewood's vice president of branch operations."Basically so far, it's exceeded our expectations," Ritter said.He said the new branch of the savings bank attracted customers because there are no other banks within 10 blocks."We looked at the demographics, where the competition was located, total deposits in the area," Ritter said. "Does it fit our banking model? The answer to all those questions was yes."Ridgewood Savings Bank, chartered in 1921 and still headquartered in Ridgewood, has about 25 locations throughout Queens, Brooklyn, Nassau and Suffolk. It is a mutual savings bank, meaning it is not publicly traded or controlled by shareholders, unlike commercial banks, but is operated for the benefit of its depositors."We're mainly focused on personal banking, basically for retail customers," Ritter said. While the branch will be mostly focused on basic savings, checking, retirement and lending services, Ritter said it will offer a package of small business services soon.The 3,700-square-foot space opened Jan. 29 in two storefronts in Baybridge Commons, off the Cross Island Expressway. With 13 employees, the bank is open extended hours through March 3, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week and until 3 p.m. on Saturdays.Regular hours will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday with extended hours until 7 p.m. on Thursday. In addition, Ritter said, there is a walk-up window for teller services that will be open at 7:30 a.m. and until 7 p.m. during the week. In addition, there is a 24-hour ATM.Ridgewood Savings boasts that it is the largest mutual savings bank in the New York area and the second-largest in the nation - largely because many other mutual savings banks have turned commercial. Ritter said customers appreciate the local focus."Our No. 1 concern is our depositors," he said.With another branch in Whitestone, the Bayside location represents Ridgewood Savings' second outpost in northeast Queens. Its other locations in the borough are in Astoria, Forest Hills, Glendale, Maspeth, Hollis, Laurelton and Breezy Point, in addition to its Ridgewood headquarters on Forest Avenue.Reach reporter John Tozzi by e-mail at news@times
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