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First Women’s Bank Changes Name To Reflect Changing Times

April 25, 1989

NEW YORK (AP) _ The First Women’s Bank, which was founded in 1975 to give women equal opportunity in banking, has changed its name to the First New York Bank for Business, the chairman announced Monday.

The new appellation reflects the bank’s decision to expand into middle market commercial lending and its belief that women are no longer discriminated against by other banks, said Martin A. Simon, the chairman.

″The mission that the bank had to specialize in women because they didn’t have equal opportunity became anachronistic because everyone else was doing the same thing,″ he said.

The First Women’s Bank was never successful financially, he said, because of its small capital base. Moreover, he said, it soon became clear that there was no need for a bank that catered exclusively to women.

Simon joined the bank in December 1986 and led the recapitalization effort that moved it from a financial institution with $50 million in assets and 23 employees to $633 million in assets and 189 employees.

The bank’s new target is the middle market in the New York metropolitan area - people or businesses that are looking for loans of $1 million to $5 million, the chairman said.

However, he said the bank’s flagship branch located at Park Avenue and 57th Street will retain The First Women’s Bank banner to demonstrate ″a caring and an affinity for women ... we intend to foster.″

Simon noted that half of the bank’s senior management is made up of women. ″Few banks, if any, can make that claim,″ he added.

The name change will affect all of the bank’s other branches except for The First Children’s Bank, which opened at F.A.O. Schwarz in September 1988.

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