- Last Updated: 12:57 AM, July 21, 2012
- Posted: 11:54 PM, July 20, 2012
The wealthy Milstein family is unloading 30 walk-in branches of its historic Emigrant Bank in New York while holding onto its two successful online banks.
Emigrant — the nation’s largest privately held bank and New York’s oldest, dating to 1850 — will essentially be folded into Apple Bank for Savings, except for its headquarters branch at E. 42nd Street and Madison Avenue, and its upstate Ossining branch.
Apple will take over $3.3 billion in deposits at the 30 branches in the metropolitan area, leaving the surviving remnants of Emigrant holding a lopsided $8.5 billion in deposits. A big chunk of those deposits is in the two virtual banks, EmigrantDirect and DollarSavingsDirect, filings show.
Apple and Emigrant said yesterday their deal would close at the end of 2012, subject to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. approval. No details were available on fees paid for the deposits.
Howard Milstein, scion of a New York real-estate empire that owns Emigrant, pioneered virtual banking here in 2005, launching his pair of Internet banks to a skeptical industry and surprising even himself by their quick success.
“He told friends he couldn’t believe how many deposits were pouring in and making cash cows,” said one industry colleague, adding that the virtual banks helped nearly double deposits at one point.
Apple, with 50 branches in the metro area and assets of $8.4 billion, had no word on the fate of Emigrant’s branches or their nearly 1,000 employees.
Many banks have closed their high-overhead branches due to lack of traffic.
Emigrant, with assets of $10.5 billon at the end of June, will keep all its private banking operations, including its Fine Arts Financial, which helps collectors and dealers acquire artworks, as well as its units for commercial lending, jumbo mortgages and asset management.
Such deposit shifts often occur at banks struggling to meet required balance-sheet ratios. But, in this case, Emigrant and Apple were regarded as successful and on solid footing for customers, FDIC records show.