Banks are a very crucial part to the economy in Astoria. They are a central hub and link to commerce in that bustling area, and provide a great service to the community. Banks are unique in Astoria as they boast Greek pride, identity, and culture through its commerce and establishment. I have learned that the Atlantic Bank in Astoria is well known for its Greek heritage and leadership under the members of the Greek Diaspora. Atlantic Bank helps to not only provide key services within Astoria, but to lead the way forward in economics and finance while maintaining Greek identity, pride, and heritage through the way that it seeks to conduct business in a family friendly, and open manner. In fact, the Greek leadership for Atlantic bank is so important that after the President, Spiros Voutsinas, passed away, NYCB issued a statement saying that they are filing the vacancy with an equally proud and admired member of the Greek community 1(NYCB 30). Atlantic Bank is crucial to Greek heritage as it also a subsidiary and was developed through a partnership with the National Bank of Greece. In fact, the Atlantic Bank has such strong Greek ties that during its conception, it was originally chartered as the Bank of Athens Trust Company, a subsidiary of the Bank of Athens.

Another bank that is boasting Greek heritage, identity, and economic success is the Bank of Alma which opened its second branch in Astoria a couple years ago 2(Petito). For an independent branch that touts its slogan of “The bank founded by expatriates for expatriates,” it runs under Greek management, not only helping the Greek community to succeed, but creating a local community around its establishment 3(Greek USA 1).We see how the act of banking is extremely important to the commerce of Astoria as the banks draw a lineage of history with Greek banks, where the culture of banking and interaction of people is not lost in today’s modernizing world. There is still an air of historic presence and respect to arguably the two most important Greek banks in Astoria, Alma and Atlantic Bank, that you won’t find anywhere else.

Atlantic Bank

Image courtesy of Nicole Cavallo

Alma Bank

Image courtesy of Google Maps





Author: Greg Maghakian