Alma Bank https://alma06.fiswebdev.net/ Talk to Us Mon, 12 May 2014 20:00:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Tax Planning Should Go Beyond the April 15th Filing Deadline /tax-planning-go-beyond-april-15th-filing-deadline/ /tax-planning-go-beyond-april-15th-filing-deadline/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:21:17 +0000 /?p=1252 While taxes are on most people’s minds in April due to the 4/15 filing deadline April, is not the only time to think about smart ways to plan for your retirement by opening or adding to an Individual Retirement Account … Read More

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While taxes are on most people’s minds in April due to the 4/15 filing deadline April, is not the only time to think about smart ways to plan for your retirement by opening or adding to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

“A traditional IRA offers people tax deferred growth opportunities,” according to Cathy Potunry a Vice President at Long Island City–based ALMA Bank. “You pay taxes on your investment gains only when you withdraw funds in retirement.” She went on to say, “And if you qualify, your contributions may be tax-deductible.”

For certain individuals, a ROTH IRA may make more sense. “By contrast, a Roth IRA doesn’t allow for deductible contributions, but does offer tax-free growth—meaning you will owe no tax when you withdraw funds in retirement.” Ms. Poturny pointed out.

You should consult with your bank or tax advisor on which type of IRA is right for you, but both are smart ways to make the most of your hard-earned money when you save for retirement.

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Tips for Safeguarding Your Debit Card. /tips-safe-guarding-debit-card/ /tips-safe-guarding-debit-card/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:12:45 +0000 /?p=1244 These days most people can’t live without their bank debit card. It’s safe, convenient and many prefer it to using cash. But are you doing all you can and should to safeguard yourself against fraud and risk of potential misuse? … Read More

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These days most people can’t live without their bank debit card. It’s safe, convenient and many prefer it to using cash. But are you doing all you can and should to safeguard yourself against fraud and risk of potential misuse?

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Try to follow these practical tips. While some are obvious, they will all work to your advantage if followed:

  1. Never lend your debit card to anyone.
  2. Monitor your accounts—call ALMA immediately (866-424-8229) if you see any suspicious transactions.
  3. Keep your PIN secret and don’t pick an obvious number—like your birthday or street address.
  4. Watch your e-mail; never provide your debit card number / PIN to an unsolicited e-mail or online request.
  5. Never give your account number to anyone over the phone.
  6. Report a lost or stolen debit card to ALMA immediately (866-424-8229).
  7. Cover the keypad when entering your PIN at an ATM or retail establishment.
  8. Keep all your debit card receipts—don’t leave them behind.
  9. Avoid using damaged ATM machines as their security may have been compromised.
  10. Beware of skimming—when the debit card magnetic strip information might be copied and used later. Keep an eye on your card while it is being swiped.

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Welcome to ALMA INSIGHTS /welcome-alma-insights/ /welcome-alma-insights/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:11:43 +0000 /?p=1242 Welcome to the ALMA ACUMEN—designed to be a practical personal banking blog. We will be brining you insights and tips on how to make your life easier, more secure, and more rewarding when it comes to banking-related matters. As a … Read More

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Welcome to the ALMA ACUMEN—designed to be a practical personal banking blog. We will be brining you insights and tips on how to make your life easier, more secure, and more rewarding when it comes to banking-related matters.

As a community bank committed to providing superior customer service ALMA feels that we can do more than handle your banking transactions without any issues. We live and work in the neighborhoods we serve, and want to work with our customers to see them prosper and grow both personally and from a financial well-being standpoint. We are in business to empower success—and that’s the ALMA Difference.

Our aim to make the content of this blog “remarkable”—not a literary work of art but rather a collection of insights that are worth remarking on and sharing. And by all means, please let us know if you have any questions or issues related to banking. We’ll do our best to provide our readers with the best banking and day-to-day money-management thinking around.

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The Basics of a Business Lines of Credit /basics-business-lines-credit/ /basics-business-lines-credit/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:06:55 +0000 /?p=1237 Lots of small and mid-sized business owners resort to personal credit cards and savings or seek investors as a source of funding for their businesses. A business line of credit is an excellent alternative to putting personal credit at risk … Read More

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Lots of small and mid-sized business owners resort to personal credit cards and savings or seek investors as a source of funding for their businesses. A business line of credit is an excellent alternative to putting personal credit at risk or needing to give up ownership control to an investor.

Cash on demand is often critical to the success of a business—from launching a new business to fueling growth and expansion or simply buying seasonal inventory. A business line of credit can meet this need for access to cash anytime the business has a funding requirement.

A revolving line of credit can help manage a company’s cash flow. The line can be used when needed (up to the credit line limit) and it can be paid back when revenues flow into the business.

Benefits include easy access to cash, often through a check or debit card; and often faster access at a lower rate than a traditional business loan. Drawbacks can include credit / business qualification requirements, ranging from credit scores to minimum company revenues, plus reviews of financial statements and past tax returns.

An alternative to traditional bank lines of credit can be a business credit card, with the primary determining factor on availability being the business owner’s credit score and payment history. However, credit limits may be lower and/or interest rates may be higher than bank lines of credit.

Either way, access to on-demand cash is important for most businesses. Many view it as a necessary insurance policy of sorts for running a healthy business. 

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To Loan or Not to Loan: How Banks Decide /bank-decide-make-business-loan/ /bank-decide-make-business-loan/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:05:46 +0000 /?p=1233 Business lending may appear to be mysterious, but it usually comes down to “the five Cs of credit” that most banks use to evaluate a potential borrower. As a business owner, it is wise to be mindful of these criteria … Read More

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Business lending may appear to be mysterious, but it usually comes down to “the five Cs of credit” that most banks use to evaluate a potential borrower. As a business owner, it is wise to be mindful of these criteria when considering a business loan application:

Character: This is the lending institution’s subjective overall opinion of the borrower’s trustworthiness, credibility, overall character and business potential. Banks want to lend to people with strong characters. This is usually based on references, reputation, and interactions with the bank.

Cash Flow / Capacity: The ability of the borrower to repay the loan is important. A business must generate adequate and predictable cash flow to service the loan obligation. Having your financial statements in order is important here. You must show how you plan to use the borrowed funds and how the business will repay them. Debt and liquidity ratios may be used here, along with credit scores and borrowing / repayment histories.

Capital: How much of the owner(s) own money has been invested in the business? Banks tend to be willing to lend more to businesses where owner(s) have “skin in the game”—that is, money committed to a positive outcome.

Conditions: Economic, industry sector and environmental conditions are factors as well. Banks simply want to lend to businesses operating in favorable conditions to increase the likelihood of the loan being repaid on time. You should be familiar with your market, and be able to explain how you think (or be able to demonstrate) how your business will succeed.

Collateral: Assets can act as back-up in the event the business can’t repay the terms of the loan. Hard assets include real estate and equipment. Working capital (accounts receivable, inventory) and a borrower’s home can also act as collateral.

Be mindful that different lenders (banks) can put more value on certain criteria versus other criteria; in essence, there is no set formula for loan application evaluation. At ALMA Bank, all business loan decisions are made locally—and that’s the ALMA Difference.

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Bank Smart with Your Mobile Phone /bank-smart-with-your-mobile-phone/ /bank-smart-with-your-mobile-phone/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:00:55 +0000 /?p=1247 Smartphones are gaining popularity fast as a way to bank. Smartphones are taking the place of laptop and desktop computers for many people, at least when they are out and about. But what are some of the best ways to … Read More

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Smartphones are gaining popularity fast as a way to bank. Smartphones are taking the place of laptop and desktop computers for many people, at least when they are out and about.

But what are some of the best ways to use mobile banking features available from ALMA Bank’s Mobile App?

Get the app here.

1. Check your balance before a large purchase: You can use your mobile phone to quickly see how much money you have available in your account before a large retail purchase. It is also a great way to protect yourself against identity theft and guard against overdraft mistakes.

2. Download the ALMA Banking App: Our custom designed applications (or apps) are designed for smartphones like the Android, iPhone or Blackberry. You’ll enjoy faster interfaces and an added layer of security, including password protection. If you misplace a smartphone with the ALMA app downloaded be sure to alert us as soon as possible so the service can be deactivated.

3. Find no-fee ATMs: Use your smartphone to find a nearby ALMA branch or one of 55,000 no-fee ATM locations available to ALMA customers via the Allpoint Network. By downloading the Allpoint app, you can use your phone’s built in GPS technology feature to find the nearest no-fee ATM.

 4. Pay bills securely: You can still pay your bills even if you don’t have access to your checkbook or desktop / laptop computer with ALMA mobile banking. Avoid late fees if you’re close to a due date.

 5. Deposit checks: Make check deposits to your account by simply taking a photo of the check and uploading it to your account. Makes banking with ALMA as close as your fingertips.

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Welcome to The ALMA Business Blog—Where Relationships Matter /forbes-alma-another-breakthrough-quarter-3/ /forbes-alma-another-breakthrough-quarter-3/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:06:08 +0000 /?p=237 Welcome to the ALMA Business Blog. It’s designed to be a practical business banking blog. We will be brining you insights and tips on how to make your business life easier, more secure, and more rewarding when it comes to … Read More

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Welcome to the ALMA Business Blog. It’s designed to be a practical business banking blog. We will be brining you insights and tips on how to make your business life easier, more secure, and more rewarding when it comes to banking-related matters.

At ALMA, we believe in the power of strong relationships with our business customers. Conventional wisdom often given to small and mid-sized business owners is that a business should have three key advisors: a lawyer, accountant, and a banker.

But why is there a need to consult with these professionals? Most business owners are better off focusing their energy on running and building their business rather than becoming expert in legal matters, tax codes and filing requirements, or business lending products. Experts in these areas can work as trusted advisors and help guide you in these matters.

It may also be of value to hire these professionals from the local community, as they are more likely to have a vested interest in protecting and enhancing their professional reputations and it is likely easier to find relevant professional references for these service providers.

The last issue to take under consideration when hiring these types of professionals is their willingness and ability to spend time with you to get to know you and your business. No two businesses are alike and your business likely has unique challenges and opportunities. Take the time to build a professional relationship with a caring and responsive partner—it will pay handsome dividends in the long run—and that’s the ALMA Difference.

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ALMA supports Brooklyn community at Trade Brooklyn Show /forbes-alma-another-breakthrough-quarter/ /forbes-alma-another-breakthrough-quarter/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 19:04:49 +0000 /?p=232 ALMA Bank was an active exhibitor and participant at the recent Trade Brooklyn trade show held on 4/2/14 at the NY Marriott / Brooklyn Bridge. The Trade Brooklyn event is the largest B2B trade show in Brooklyn, brining together premier … Read More

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ALMA Bank was an active exhibitor and participant at the recent Trade Brooklyn trade show held on 4/2/14 at the NY Marriott / Brooklyn Bridge. The Trade Brooklyn event is the largest B2B trade show in Brooklyn, brining together premier businesses from Brooklyn and adjoining boroughs of NYC.

Show participants included local Brooklyn-based businesses, national corporations, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, government agencies, business advocacy and media. “The event captured the high energy of the Brooklyn business community,” commented Nellie Pirano, an ALMA Bank Relationship Manager in attendace.

“With three ALMA Branches serving Brooklyn, our bank is an integral part of the local business community. Our strong commitment service allows our business banking customers to focus on building their business, rather than dealing with banking related problems” commented Kostas Notias who works out of the Brooklyn region.  “We live and work in the communities we serve, and genuinely care about the customers we know so well.”

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The ALMA Bank team at Trade Brooklyn Business Show: Kostas Notias, Roman Sharts & Dino Venetsanakos.

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ALMA participates in 2014 NYC Greek Independence Day Parade. /forbes-alma-another-breakthrough-quarter-2/ /forbes-alma-another-breakthrough-quarter-2/#comments Sun, 30 Mar 2014 19:05:26 +0000 /?p=234 Despite cold and inclement weather conditions, over two dozen ALMA Bank employees proudly marched in the 2014 Greek Independence Day parade on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on Sunday, March 30, 2014. The annual event is a steadfast tradition, and represents … Read More

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Despite cold and inclement weather conditions, over two dozen ALMA Bank employees proudly marched in the 2014 Greek Independence Day parade on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on Sunday, March 30, 2014.

The annual event is a steadfast tradition, and represents the largest gathering of Greek-Americans outside Greece itself, and celebrates orthodoxy, Hellenism and freedom.

March 25th marks the official revolution celebration by the Greek state, dating back to the Greek War of Independence fought by Greek revolutionaries between 1821–1832 against the Ottoman Empire, with assistance from Russia, the UK, and France.

ALMA Bank proudly acknowledges its roots and actively supports the NYC area Greek community, to help preserve Greek heritage now and for the future of Hellenism for generations to come.

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ALMA helps children in Greece by Hosting Charity Event /alma-helps-children-greece-hosting-charity-event/ /alma-helps-children-greece-hosting-charity-event/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 14:50:38 +0000 /?p=1043 ALMA Bank recently hosted a charity event on 3/14/ 14 entitled “Sound Colors of Greece” featuring acclaimed Greek singer Alkistis Protopsalti held at the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Proceeds from the event … Read More

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ALMA Bank Senior Vice President Panos Stogioglou, Secretary General for Gender Equality, Hellenic Ministry of the Interior Vasso Kollia, and acclaimed international singer Alkistis Protopsalti.

ALMA Bank recently hosted a charity event on 3/14/ 14 entitled “Sound Colors of Greece” featuring acclaimed Greek singer Alkistis Protopsalti held at the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Proceeds from the event went to “FLOGA” – the Pan Hellenic Parents Association of Children with Cancer.

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Alkistis Protopsalti performs at the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium in NYC.

The event was a collaborative effort with the Office of the Prime Minister of Greece Antonis Samaras, Greek Ministry of Tourism Olga Kefalogiamnni and General Secretariat for Gender Equality – Vasso Kollia, who attended the performance.

The event was scheduled to coincide with and support the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meeting in NYC – whose mission is to promote greater gender equality worldwide. ALMA is a proud supporter of CSW and the efforts of General Secretary Kollia.

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ALMA Bank Chairman Kirk Karabelas and President George Katsianuis.

ALMA Chairman Kirk Karabelas and President George Katsianuis commented “By helping to promote the great work of the UN CSW in evaluating progress on gender equality, identifying challenges and setting global standards we are proud to recognize the progress Greek society has made in embracing women at the highest levels of business, art, government and society in general.”

ALMA Bank embraces it roots by supporting the Greek and Greek-American communities they serve. From local churches to schools, community centers and youth organizations ALMA is dedicated to promoting literacy, music appreciation, healthy living and sports programs for children and adults alike. FLOGA was selected as the beneficiary of the event because they support the same tenants of CSW and ALMA Bank: dignity, strength and empowerment for all.

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