New York Community Bancorp blamed a decline in mortgage refinancings for an 11.3 percent fall in third quarter profit.
The Westbury-based bank, whose 272 branches in five states make it the largest bank based on Long Island, said Wednesday its net income was $114.2 million, or 26 cents a share, in the three months ended Sept. 30, down from $128.8 million, or 29 cents a share, a year earlier.
The earnings also represent a decline from this year's second quarter.
The bank 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 from 3.17 percent in the quarter a year earlier to 3.04 percent in this year's third quarter. The bank cited lower prepayment penalties for loans.
In a statement, president and chief executive Joseph R. Ficalora cited "significant loan and asset growth and the stellar quality of our assets" and noted total assets of $45.8 billion at the end of the third quarter, up 3.8 percent from a year earlier and a company record.
"While activity in our multifamily lending niche was particularly robust this quarter, activity in the mortgage banking space continued to be weak," he said.
Mortgage banking income fell by 69 percent from a year earlier to $16.2 million in this year's third quarter. "While mortgage banking income continues to represent the company's largest source of noninterest income," the bank said, "the level has been adversely impacted by a decline in refinancing activity, as the rise in residential mortgage interest rates has dramatically dampened loan demand."
New York Community operates under its own name as well as Queens County Savings Bank, Roslyn Savings Bank, Richmond County Savings Bank, Roosevelt Savings Bank, Garden State Community Bank, AmTrust Bank and Atlantic Bank.