‘Feels like home’: Empire State Bank brings Bensonhurst native to run 18th Avenue branch

Bankers at Empire State Bank photographed with NYC Mayor Eric Adams
Mayor Eric Adams attends the opening of Empire State Bank’s Bensonhurst branch in 2018.
File photo by Corazon Aguirre

Empire State Bank, the local city-based banking center, named a new branch for their Bensonhurst location, who will bring his 20 years of experience to help Brooklyn residents and businesses with their banking needs. 

Corrado Campisi took over the Bensonhurst Banking Center at 6923 18th Ave. in March to oversee their day-to-day operations — saying it was a “full circle” moment in career, having been raised in the community.

“Since I’ve been here, I have gone to several businesses and myself telling them ‘hey I’m here now,’ and a lot of faces were glad to see me because they’ve known me since I was a kid, they know my grandmother had a shop on 18th Avenue [and that] she was a hairdresser and she was very, very involved with the community,” said Campisi.

Empire State Bank is one of the smallest banking companies in the state, with just six branches. Campisi, though, said the size was an advantage, as it allows their customers to enjoy a much more intimate banking experience.

“Most of the banks that I’ve worked for are so advanced in technology and evolution in products and services that they’re kicking customers out of the bank,” Campisi said. “We’re working towards getting customers to come into the branch to sort of become used to the fact that there’s a person standing behind the counter and not a machine. Someone you can talk to, someone you can say hi to instead of [everything] being so transactional.”

This intimacy is only further emphasized by the fact that Campisi is so familiar with the community.

“It feels like home when I come to work and it’s something I really really enjoy doing,” he said. “Sometimes I stay outside and just greet everyone, and they like to hear an Italian-speaking person also. So I have a lot of connection with this neighborhood.”

Banking can sometimes feel intimidating especially for people who aren’t as confident or lack certain aspects of financial literacy — but Campisi says that, for those who bank at Empire State Bank, the process is much more accessible, since the bank works hard to get to know each of their customers.

“We learn about the customers,” said Campisi. “We literally assist them with everything throughout the day, depending on if it’s a stock payment or a fraud charge or a regular deposit or paying a check. So the advantage of working in a smaller bank is that you get to know your customers even better because you deal with them on a day to day basis, whereas in big banks, you don’t deal with them because you call the customer service line — the 800-number — and you’ll never know what’s happening.”

This focus on one-on-one interactions helps the bank but also helps demystify the banking process for customers.

“We are always ready for them and well, we guide them.”

To learn more about Empire State Bank, visit their website at esbna.com