Astoria-based Quontic Bank plans to double the number of employees it has in Melville, where it moved 12 staffers last week, the financial institution’s chief executive said on Monday.
Steven Schnall, the bank’s CEO, said the company plans to expand aggressively over the next two years as it builds its loan portfolio in the region.
“About 20 to 25 percent of our business is on Long Island,” Schnall said. “It’s a market we expect to grow, and being in Melville allows us to serve all of Long Island because of its central location.”
Quontic’s Long Island office had been in Jericho.
Schnall said that while a majority of the bank’s business focuses on conventional mortgages, including loans for one-to-four family homes and small commercial mortgages, Quontic plans to expand its reverse mortgage and “Lite Doc” portfolio. A reverse mortgage allows a homeowner age 62 or over to borrow against the home’s equity. The loan doesn’t need to be paid back until the homeowner either dies, sells the house or moves. Lite Doc loans don’t require as much documentation as standard mortgages.
Schnall said about 10 to 15 percent of Quontic loans are reverse mortgages and another 10 percent are Lite Doc.
Reverse mortgages have been criticized by consumer advocates because in some cases they forced elderly clients out of their homes. Often, the homeowner couldn’t keep up with other bills, such as property taxes.
Schnall said tighter federal regulations force banks to “verify the income of the borrower and determine that they have enough to live and pay off debt.”
Quontic said it had $225 million in assets as of Sept. 30.