Dime Bank CEO Stuart Lubow: Dime Marches On

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Dime Community Bank is one of the bigger banks in the New York metropolitan region, including Long Island. We talked with Stuart Lubow, who had been president and chief operating officer, after he took the helm at the Hauppauge-based bank as its new CEO. An experienced banking executive, Lubow talked with us about his perspective and plans for Dime, which has more than 60 branches from Montauk to Manhattan.

So how does it feel to be head of Dime and what if any plans do you have?

I’ve been working closely with the bank’s current CEO, Kevin O’Connor, for the past three years. During that time, Kevin and I partnered on creating the overarching strategy for the bank while I oversaw the day-to-day operations. Stepping into the CEO role feels like a very natural expansion of my responsibilities. Dime is a community bank and we will continue to support New York’s local businesses with a full range of products and services, which we continue to grow.    

Can you talk briefly about your background story in banking and how it fits with leading Dime?

The evolution of my career has been very gratifying, with over 30 years of C-suite banking experience. Prior to joining Dime, I was the founder, chairman, president and CEO of Community National Bank, a full-service community commercial bank providing a wide variety of financial products in New York. Previous to that, I founded Community State Bank in New Jersey, where I was president and CEO. 

How’s the local economy? 

While inflation had been a major concern going into 2023, our customers have been reporting positive business results due to a growing economy on Long Island. Low unemployment has had the greatest impact in the hospitality segment, with a shortage of available workers with the necessary skills. 

How is Dime investing in technology?

Dime has made a material investment in technology in order to better support the needs of our customers. This year, we launched online account opening and enhanced our digital escrow account management system. We are continuously investing to create a better user experience and offer a full set of digital tools to make managing their businesses easier for our customers. 

How is Dime fighting against cyber crime and fraud?

With cybercrime evolving so quickly, we are constantly assessing and upgrading the systems needed to keep our customers’ information safe. Dime has top-rated cybersecurity and a team dedicated to ensuring our clients’ data is protected.

How does Dime support the local community?

Dime has a long tradition of philanthropy. As a community bank, we prioritize the causes that are championed by our employees and will have a positive impact in their neighborhoods. Last year, Dime launched the Dime Community Bank Foundation to support local New York charities. 

Can you tell me a little bit about what you’re doing through the foundation and beyond?

So far this year, we are slated to make donations to more than 250 different organizations. And this tradition carries through to Dime employees, who volunteered more than 10,000 hours to 50 area nonprofits last year.  Dime Community Bank is consistently ranked as a Top 5 SBA [U.S. Small Business Administration] lender in our footprint, and began ESG [Environmental, Social, and Governance] reporting earlier this year with a goal of improving investor transparency.

How would you describe the current banking environment?

Recently, the collapse and closure of several banks sent shock waves through the banking and business communities.  It’s important to know that our bank has never been stronger, with a robust capital position and balance sheet. We are continuing to attract new customers, make loans, and remain a secure banking partner for our clients. 

Have you benefited at all from turbulence at some other banks?

In fact, we’ve been able to take advantage of the market disruption earlier this year and have added several teams of seasoned financial experts to our current roster of experienced bankers and local decision makers. Our depositors are not the venture capital-funded startups — Dime’s customer base is comprised of business owners and consumers who are embedded in our communities.   

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Dime Community Bank CEO Kenneth J. Mahon (center, holding scissors) conducts a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the bank’s new Melville branch on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. From left to right in front row: Monica Reis, Assistant Branch Manager, Dime Melville Branch
Thomas Donnelly, Councilman, Town of Babylon and County Legislator-Elect
Vincent F. Palagiano, Dime Chairman
Kenneth J. Mahon, Dime President & CEO
Chad Lupinacci, NYS Assemblymember and Town of Huntington Supervisor-Elect
Mark Cuthbertson, Councilman, Town of Huntington
Roberto S. Volino, Senior Executive Vice President & COO
Michael A. Perez, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking
Dean Highland, Assistant Vice President and Branch manager, Dime Melville Branch. Back row: Stuart H. Lubow, Senior Executive Vice President-Business Banking
Ted Macaluso, Executive Director, Melville Chamber of Commerce
David Gustin, President, Melville Chamber of Commerce. (Photo by Bob Savage).