Sterling Bancorp in Montebello, N.Y., has agreed to buy Astoria Financial in Lake Success, N.Y., just a few months after other merger plans by Astoria fell through.

The $14.2 billion-asset Sterling said Tuesday that it would pay $2.2 billion in cash and stock for the $14.6 billion-asset Astoria. The deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, is the biggest in banking announced so far this year.

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