NEW YORK - Sterling Bancorp recently formed a unit that will provide credit to some companies that may not have access to traditional bank loans or other capital markets.

Louis J. Cappelli, Sterling's chairman and chief executive, said Sterling Business Credit, a subsidiary of Sterling Factors Corp., will advance the bank's strategy of diversifying into high-margin financial services.

Typical customers would be start-up ventures, research and development entities, and turnaround situations, the bank said in a press release.

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