Updated 02/12/2013 11:47 PM
Banks Sitting On $200M In Sandy Relief Funds, Gov Says
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The Cuomo Administration is asking banks to speed up the release of at least $200 million intended for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Thousands of insurance checks are being held up, in part by red tape, including a requirement that they first be endorsed by the bank.
Many homeowners can't begin rebuilding until the funds are released.
$130 million is being held up by Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank, and JPMorgan Chase, the nation's four largest banks.
The New York State Department of Financial Services, which conducted the investigation, said they received hundreds of complaints from homeowners.
"These are people who have put up with the insurance companies and worked with them over a period of time to get their money flowing, and now they're double-whammied and hit with a second set of bureaucracy that holds the money up at the banks, and that really adds insult to injury," said Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of NY Financial Services.
Among the requests made by the department are that banks publish clear information on their websites, and immediately release funds labeled as 'emergency' or 'advance.'