First National Bank of Long Island, based in Glen Head, stood out in a study released last month by Bank Intelligence Solutions, a banking research company, that sought to identify the highest-performing banks in the country. It named 61 such banks, only two of which were in New York State: Tompkins Trust Co. of upstate Ithaca and First National Bank of Long Island.

Even in the midst of a severe recession, the bank's credit quality remained exceptionally high. Bad loans have been among the lowest in the industry. In three of the last five years it wrote off no bad loans at all.

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"They obviously know their customers very well," said Andy Grinstead, the senior vice president of Bank Intelligence Solutions.

>> Read Andrew Smith's full story