Loans and fees lifted Community National Bank (CBNY) in Great Neck, N.Y., in the fourth quarter.

Earnings at the $666 million-asset bank rose 55% from a year earlier, to $692.4 million.

Community National booked $512 million in loans in the fourth quarter, up 29% year over year.

Net interest income rose 24% from the fourth quarter of 2011, to $5.6 million. Net interest margin fell by 10 basis points from a year earlier, to 3.6%.

Noninterest income rose 26% from a year earlier, to $868,000. Noninterest expense rose 21% year over year, to $4.6 million, because of higher personnel costs.

The company reported an efficiency ratio of 71.42%, compared with 73.23% in the fourth quarter of 2011.

"The prior year's investments in talented lending and retail personnel, our branch network and operational infrastructure have given us strong momentum to meet our strategic goals of becoming Long Island's premier community bank," Stuart Lubow, Community National's chief executive officer, said in a press release.

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