Now Accepting Deposits in English and Polish
by Shane Miller
Feb 24, 2009 | 1531 views | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Feb 24 09 - 11:39 PM

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Thirty-three years ago, Polish and Slavic Credit Union opened its doors in a rented space on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint. Since then, it has moved its headquarters several times to bigger and better spaces, including a grand new building on McGuiness Boulevard in Greenpoint, and opened an additional 10 other branches through New York and New Jersey. This past weekend they added to their legacy, cutting the ribbon on their newest branch at 66-14 Grand Avenue in Maspeth.

“Over 30 years ago, the credit union helped the residents of Greenpoint purchase their first homes and revitalize the area,” CEO Bogdan Chmielewski told a crowd of about 100 well-wishers, including new and loyal customers, Saturday afternoon. “We hope our new branch will contribute in the same way.”

While other financial institutions are weathering rough patches and asking for government handouts, Polish and Slavic Credit Union is still going strong. With 70,000 members and over $1.2 billion in assets, the credit union is not only the biggest ethnic credit union in the United States, it is also one of the top 100 credit unions of the 8,000 nationwide.

And the credit union shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, the Maspeth Branch, which was chosen for its location in the heart of a rapidly growing Polish population, is one of the credit union’s largest locations. Credit union officials also said a Trenton, New Jersey, branch should be opened by next month.

Interestingly, during its three-decade history, the Polish and Slavic Credit Union has never foreclosed on a home.

“Given today’s economy, that is a tremendous achievement,” said Councilman Tony Avella, who was on hand for the ceremonial opening.

However, the Polish and Slavic Credit Union doesn’t just hold people’s money and make loans, the institution is also an active member of the community, donating money to several worthy projects and community events throughout the year, including recently writing a check for $181,000 to fund a post devoted to Polish studies at Columbia University.

“That was the final check,” said Polish Consul Krzysztof Kasprzyk. “I was able to tell Columbia University, ‘we have raised the necessary $3 million.’”

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