Long Island's North Fork Bancorp. finally has found an opening into the coveted New England market.

The $6.6 billion-asset company, based in Mattituck, N.Y., agreed last week to buy Branford Savings Bank in southeastern Connecticut for $38 million in stock. Branford Savings operates five branches in New Haven County, directly across Long Island Sound from North Fork's branches in Nassau and Suffolk counties, NY.

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