New York City is unarguably the banking capital of the world and accordingly, a large number of domestic and international banks have a presence in New York City. It is estimated that more than 600 banks operate in the city and this includes a mix of both domestic and international banking chains. The retail banking hours vary from bank to bank and banks are usually closed on Sundays except for the branches of the Toronto based, TD bank which offers extended banking hours and banking on Sundays as well.
Since English is main language of business all bank employees in New York City speak English though most banks also offer services in Spanish. Some banks offer services in French, Korean, Chinese, Urdu, Creole and several other foreign languages depending on their customer base.
The banking system in New York City and the rest of the USA is quite safe as bank deposits are guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC – http://www.fdic.gov/), a government corporation which was created by the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. This corporation provides safety of deposits of member banks. You can check the corporation’s website to find out if your bank is a member or you can even call the FDIC’s Division of Compliance and Consumer Affairs (DCA) toll-free at 1-800-934-3342 to get this information. This insured deposit used to have a limit of $100,000 but due to the current global economic crisis this amount has been increased to $250,000 per depositor per bank and this guarantee now extends until 2013.
Internet banking is extremely wide spread in New York City. The city is one of the best ‘connected’ cities in the world and internet banking is a convenience that most New Yorkers depend upon. Of course, like all transactions on the internet there exists the risks of identity theft and fraud and if you want to avail of this service during your stay in New York City you must follow the safe internet banking guidelines as set out by the bank where you have your account.
Many banks limit international transfers only for their customers and these transfers are generally subject to a charge which ranges from $10 upwards. International money transfers from New York City are quite simple to perform and apart from banks, there are services like Western Union (http://www.westernunion.com/) which has outlets all over the city and Xoom (https://www.xoom.com/sendmoneynow/home?receiveCountryCode=), an online service.
Asia Bank (http://www.asiabank-na.com/Homex.htm) and the oldest Chinese American bank, Cathay Bank, (http://www.cathaybank.com/Index.asp) are two New York based institutes that offer international transfers to non-customers as well.
ATMs are available at all the branches of retail banks during normal banking, and even non-banking, hours. These ATMs are usually enclosed within the front portion of a branch and during non-banking hours this area is usually locked. It can only be accessed by inserting your ATM card into the slot of the electronic lock that secures the area. ATMs are also available in certain stores and restaurants; though if you access an ATM which is not operated by your own bank, you usually have to pay transaction charges that range from $1 upwards. Duane Reade stores all over New York City are equipped with Chase Manhattan bank’s ATMs which are free for Chase bank customers.
Some of the major International banks in New York City:
Banco Popular (http://www.bancopopular.com/us/personal/us-per-home-en.jsp#) is a Puerto Rican bank which operates several branches in New York City. It offers services in Spanish as well as English.
Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
HSBC is a Hong Kong based bank (http://www.us.hsbc.com/1/2/3/personal?home=personal) which has a large presence in New York City as it has several branches where it offers a whole host of banking and investment services. HSBC’s Premier Service enjoys international recognition and if you have an account with HSBC in your home country it will be easy to get an introduction and open an account at a New York City branch of the chain.
This American banking chain has (http://www.citibank.com/us/home.htm) an extensive worldwide reach. It provides a wide array of services in English as well as Spanish.
This Toronto based bank (http://www.tdbank.com/) has a large network of branches in New York City and offers extended banking hours by opening its doors even on Sundays when branches of other banks are closed.
The German Deutsche Bank (http://www.db.com/index_e.htm) also has a significant presence in New York City and offers both commercial banking and investment banking services to its customers in New York City.
For a complete list of all the banks (international and national) that operate in New York City, visit (http://www.bankingdetail.com/banks/branches/new-york-ny-new-york.asp)