Sterling Bancorp of New York said Thursday that second-quarter net income rose 15% from a year earlier, to $4.2 million, on loan growth and a higher net interest margin.

The $2.1 billion-asset company said net interest income rose 18%, to $21.6 million. Average loans rose 6.6%, to $1.1 million, and investment securities on average rose 40%, to $781.2 million.

The margin grew 14 basis points, to 4.49%, as Sterling increased its use of wholesale funding instead of higher-priced certificates of deposit.

Credit quality was relatively stable, with nonperforming assets rising 17.5%, to $9.3 million, or 0.43% of total assets.

Sterling's earnings per share of 23 cents were in line with the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters.

Still, the stock fell 5.5% Thursday in a declining market for bank stocks.

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