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New York Community Bancorp easing off on acquisitions

Joseph Ficalora

Joseph Ficalora

New York Community Bancorp, which went on an acquisition spree in the past six months, is going to take a break for a while, said its chairman, president and chief executive.
Joseph Ficalora was touting the Westbury company's success this week at the Macquarie Securities Small and Mid-Cap Conference. The company owns nine operating subsidiaries, including Roslyn Savings Bank and New York Commercial Bank. It is by far the largest Long Island-based banking company, with assets of $42.4 billion at the end of the first quarter.
In December the bank bought the failed AmTrust Bank, giving it branches in Ohio, Arizona and Florida. Then in March, the company bought another failed bank, Desert Hills Bank, expanding its new base in Arizona.
But on Wednesday Ficalora said competition to buy failed banks from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has increased, so even though New York Community is "well poised to do deals," it probably won't do any soon.
"The probability of a deal is less in the immediate future, but more in the more distant future," Ficalora said.
The economy is likely to remain difficult, and the company's continued strength will put it in good position to make deals when others run out of steam, he said.

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