New York Community Bank in Westbury, N.Y., reported higher quarterly profit that reflected cost-control efforts.

The $49.7 billion-asset company said in a press release Wednesday that its first-quarter earnings rose 2.5% from a year earlier, to $106.6 million, or 20 cents a share.

New York Community, led by CEO Joseph Ficalora, kept an eye on expenses.

Noninterest expense fell by 17%, to $139.1 million. Lower general and administrative expenses offset a small increase in compensation and benefits expense.

Net interest income fell 8.3%, to $270.3 million, due to higher funding costs. The net interest margin narrowed by 29 basis points to 2.42%.

Total loans fell slightly, to $38.8 billion. The company has been curbing its growth to stay below the $50 billion asset threshold, where it would be considered a systemically important financial institution.

Noninterest income fell by 29%, to $22.9 million, largely reflecting last year's sale of the company's mortgage banking operations. New York Community had no mortgage-related revenue in the first quarter.

The loan-loss provision on noncovered loans spiked by 436%, to $9.6 million, after net charge-offs rose by 15% to $6.5 million.

New York Community pared back its taxi medallion-related exposure by 3.7% from the end of last year, to $95.4 million.

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