Sylvan Beach, NY DASonnenfeld/CC

The Department of Financial Services on Tuesday announced the approval of a new banking development district in Oneida County in an effort to expand banking services to under-served communities.

The approved district, in the Village of Sylvan Beach in the Town of Vienna, will allow local businesses, residents and tourists access to banking services, the agency said in a press release. The new banking development district will involve an existing branch of the Adirondack Bank, the only full-service bank in the village, which is located near Oneida Lake.

In a statement, Superintendent Maria Vullo said the banking district demonstrates the agency’s commitment to ensure that communities have “access to quality, affordable financial services close to home.”

The state Legislature created the BDD program, which is administered by the Department of Financial Services, in 1997. It was designed to encourage banks to establish branches in areas that lack them, generally low-income and minority neighborhoods. The Village of Sylvan Beach has a tourism-based economy and a lower median income and higher unemployment rate than the Town of Vienna and Oneida County, DFS said. Between 2011 and 2015, residents of the village had a median household income of roughly $40,147, whereas in the Town of Vienna it was $42,338 and $48,246 in Oneida County, the state agency said.

In an effort to encourage banks to participate in the program, New York has made $10 million in subsidized public deposits available to banks in under-served communities. Banks that receive a BDD designation, according to the department, are eligible to receive below market-rate deposits from the state.

The announcement of the new banking development district follows the DFS’s approval of two banking development districts in the Bronx and Brooklyn in July (NYLJ, July 13).