New York Community Bancorp's agreement to buy Richmond County Financial Corp. of Staten Island for $802 million, announced late Tuesday, came after a string of deals announced in recent months as buyers big and small viewed New York City and the surrounding region as ripe for consolidation.

And with several larger banking companies still interested in expanding in the region, there may be a scramble to get deals done soon. "The fact is, there is going to be a significant uptick in the amount of activity," said Joseph R. Ficalora, the chairman, president, and chief executive officer of $4.7 billion-asset New York Community in Westbury.

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