Astoria Financial (AF) in Lake Success, N.Y., is planning to open its first full-service branch in Manhattan.

The branch, which will be located near Penn Station, is set to open on March 31. The location will support new and existing business customers of all sizes, Monte Redman, Astoria's president and chief executive, said.

A Manhattan branch makes it easier to attract New York businesses, Redman added.

In the last year, the $15.8 billion company has expanded its business banking group hiring a dozen "seasoned relationship managers" with an average of 20 years of experience.

The branch opening also follows the recent opening of Astoria's first business banking office in New York.

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