The Federal Reserve Board gave North Fork Bancorp. of Mattituck, N.Y., permission to acquire Extebank of Stony Brook, N.Y., overruling several Community Reinvestment Act protests.

The Fed, in its Feb. 26 order, added two conditions to the deal. North Fork must file quarterly reports for two years on its lending in minority communities. It also must submit its CRA plans to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, rather than just to the New York State Banking Department.

"The board expects North Fork to continue to strengthen its CRA performance and will monitor North Fork's progress in considering future applications," the Fed said.

North Fork, which gains control over $2.8 billion in deposits in the deal, committed to lend $20 million in low-income communities.

Matthew Lee, executive director of the Bronx-based Inner City Press- Community on the Move, had protested the deal, charging management ignored its CRA obligations.

The Fed, however, refuted that criticism in its order, noting North Fork received a satisfactory CRA rating during its most recent exam. The Fed also said the bank participates in numerous affordable mortgage programs and has 24% of its loans in low- and moderate-income communities.

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