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Kanas' BankUnited plans Melville branch

Veteran Long Island banker John Kanas is preparing

Veteran Long Island banker John Kanas is preparing to open a BankUnited in Melville in a few weeks. Kansas heads the Florida-based company. (April 22, 2009) Credit: David Pokress

BankUnited, the Florida-based company headed by veteran Long Island banker John Kanas, is preparing to open its first branch on Long Island in a few weeks, in Melville.

The Melville branch will be at 445 Broadhollow Rd., Suite 140. The company said it also plans three branches in Manhattan to open about the same time.

Kanas was chief of North Fork Bank, a Long Island lender, from 1977 until 2006, when it was acquired by Capital One Financial Corp., of McLean, Va. He was then president of Capital One's banking segment until he left the bank in 2007, when he signed a noncompetition contract.

BankUnited, based in Miami Lakes, has 95 branches and $12 billion in assets. It was established in 2009 when a group of investors led by Kanas acquired it from federal banking regulators after it failed during the financial crisis.

BankUnited reported a profit last year of $211.3 million, or $2.05 a share.

Kanas is Bank United’s chairman, president and chief executive.

Expansion into the New York area had been delayed for about a year by a settlement between Kanas and Capital One, which had sued him claiming he violated the noncompete agreement.

BankUnited shares closed Thursday at $27.54, up three cents on the New York Stock Exchange.

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