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First National earnings up 36.6%

First National Bank of Long Island branch in

First National Bank of Long Island branch in Woodbury Credit: Patricia Caleca

The First of Long Island Corp., the Glen Head company that owns the First National Bank of Long Island, reported year-end earnings last week of $18.4 million, a 36.6-percent increase over 2009.

The bank credited most of the growth to increased interest income from a 20.6-percent increase in lending, particularly in owner-occupied commercial real estate loans and residential mortgages. The bank also said its larger holdings of tax-exempt municipal securities and lower interest rates paid to depositors helped earnings.

The increased lending offset the lower interest rates the bank collected on most loans.
Interest rates will present a challenge for the bank in 2011, it said in a statement. The bank can't cut interest it pays to depositors by much because the rates are so low already, but interest it makes on loans and securities could fall further.

The bank has assets of $1.7 billion and has 33 branches on Long Island and in Manhattan. The photo above is of the Woodbury branch.

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