New York Community still hunting for a large acquisition

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New York Community Bancorp in Westbury is still looking for a big acquisition to jump over an important regulatory threshold.

The $49 billion-asset company will continue to control growth so it stays below $50 billion of assets, the point at which institutions are generally considered systemically important, President and CEO Joseph Ficalora said in a press release Wednesday discussing quarterly results.

New York Community agreed in 2015 to buy the $14.8 billion-asset Astoria Financial for $2 billion but the companies announced in December that they has terminated the deal after it became apparent they wouldn’t get regulatory approval before its termination deadline.

Ficalora said in Wednesday’s release that New York Community would continue to focus on its core business model of making multifamily loans while diversifying its loan portfolio and funding mix. The company is also likely to invest more resources into becoming SIFI-compliant, he said.

“While the growth of our loan portfolio was tempered by sales of participations, we continued to grow our share of our niche lending market, which is something we will continue to do over the course of this year,” Ficalora said.

The company earned $113.7 million in the fourth quarter, compared to a loss of $404.8 million a year earlier that included a debt restructuring.

Net interest income totaled $315.5 million, compared with a loss of $449.2 million a year earlier.

Noninterest income fell about 45% to $32.4 million, down about 45%. Mortgage banking income declined roughly 73%, to $3.3 million, while net gain on sales of loans dropped more than 84%, to $688,000.

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M&A Consolidations Community banking Commercial real estate lending SIFIs