NEW YORK — The most striking thing a visitor notices about New York City’s Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union is how much it feels like Jimmy Stewart’s Bailey Building and Loan in Frank Capra’s classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

First, there’s the building. Even though insurance requirements and a changing neighborhood forced the credit union to put its tellers behind regulation-grade security glass, it has kept the original teller counter, windows and wooden accents from when the building served as a bank branch. Thus, after members come through the scruffy gentility of the credit union’s main door, with its lobby clock hearkening back to a different time, they step up to windows advertising services from that time, with names like paying/receiving, international banking, note teller and loans.

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