The Michigan company, which lost more than $1.4 billion in the aftermath of the financial crisis, is trying to become more of a commercial lender. Its recent agreement to buy a deposit-rich franchise in California could help it get there.
Sterling Bancorp in New York is determined to turn Astoria Financial's largely residential operation into a commercial powerhouse. While investors are skeptical, CEO Jack Kopnisky has proven in the past that such an ambitious plan is doable.
The $36.3 billion-asset bank reported double-digit growth in C&I loans, commercial real estate loans and specialty loans to the private-equity, entertainment and energy industries in the third quarter.
Total loans fell 1.6% at the North Carolina-based regional bank, which has been scaling back in key segments such as residential mortgages and auto. Wider margins offset that reduction, but earnings were flat and revenue growth small.