Brian Nowak has concerns where Cheektowaga keeps its money

Brian Nowak attends his first town board meeting on January 9th. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Brian Nowak attends his first town board meeting on January 9th. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

CHEEKTOWAGA – Freshman Councilmember Brian Nowak voted in favor with his seasoned colleagues on almost all resolutions at his first town board meeting Tuesday night – except for two that dealt with where the town keeps its money.

Mr. Nowak referenced a Buffalo News article that lists four local banks who were featured on a list having the most consumer complaints lodged with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

When he questioned the resolution during a vote to designate a list of depositories for the town, he called out Citizens Bank specifically.

“They are number three out of 49 banks as far as complaints from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” said Mr. Nowak.  “I just think that we should be a little more thoughtful about the banks we’re working through.”

The town holds one account with Citizens Bank compared to the single account held with KeyBank (Ranked 9th), the 12 accounts held with M&T Bank (Ranked 14th), and the 22 accounts held with JP Morgan Chase (Ranked 15th).

“We have an account with a bank who is getting more complaints through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – not less. KeyBank and M&T have improved – Citizens hasn’t,” said Mr. Nowak.

Supervisor Diane Benczkowski asked Mr. Nowak if he wanted to amend or table the resolution in question, to which Mr. Nowak indicated that a vote could be taken.  He was the single no vote. Councilmember Christine Adamczyk was excused due to an illness.

Mr. Nowak hopes the town can look at the relationships the banks have with our communities on a yearly basis when the town decides where to keep its money.

“Banks are central to everything we do whether you’re running a business, whether you’re local government, even in your household.  They’re really central to everything we do so we should be thinking about who we’re banking through,” added Mr. Nowak.