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Mission Statement

“To promote and strengthen the vitality of Community Banking throughout New York State.”


IBANYS exclusively represents the interest of independent community banks located throughout New York State. Community banks share a commitment to meeting the financial needs of their respective local communities.

A community bank is a financial institution with a strategic business plan to ‘recycle’ deposits into loans within the same communities where the deposits were gathered. This philosophy encourages a vibrant, growing local economy and insures that the growth of a community is not restricted to a predetermined allotment of loans. When entrepreneurs and families look for financial help they turn to the institution they know and trust – a local community bank. A community bank is involved in its community through economic development, civic organizations and philanthropic activities.

Independent and community are used interchangeably to describe financial institutions which are community-based and not owned by a large multi-state bank holding company. With locally-based ownership and a commitment to their communities, our member banks are closer to the economic pulse of New York’s cities, towns and villages. Independent bankers are integral to the future of their communities as providers of financial services and active participants in civic affairs. Community banks whose policies are set locally are inextricably tied to their communities for success.

The history of New York’s independent banks is long and honorable and its prospects are bright. Community banks of New York have a history dating back over 150 years and recently chartered community banks have begun a new tradition in many parts of the state. Our members look at the next century and beyond as the beginning of a new era of opportunity. As national consolidation continues, the contribution of community-based banks in New York will become increasingly important.

The Independent Bankers Association of New York State (IBANYS) founded in 1974, is located in Albany. The Association supports community bankers through representation in legislative and regulatory affairs. In addition, the Association sponsors educational programs for its members and provides information about community banking to the public.

John J. Witkowski, President & CEO

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