Second quarter earnings rose by 21 percent at Flushing Financial Corp. despite lower interest income.

The Lake Success-based corporate parent of the 17-branch Flushing Bank said net income for the quarter was $11.7 million or 39 cents a share, up from $9.6 million or 32 cents a share a year earlier.

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But Flushing also said net interest margin, a measure of the difference between the interest a bank earns on its assets, such as loans and the interest it pays out to depositors, fell 3 basis points from the previous quarter, to 3.22 percent, due to the low interest rate environment and pre-payment of older, higher-yield loans. But the bank also said the cost of interest-bearing liabilities fell by 11 basis points year over year, to 1.23 percent, because of reduced rates it pays on most deposits and a reduction in the cost of borrowed funds.

The provision for loan losses improved to a negative $1.1 million for the second quarter from a provision of $3.5 million a year earlier.