Sterling Bancorp's annual report for 1997 gives shareholders a concrete way to take advantage of low mortgage rates: an offer to refinance their mortgages. The New York-based banking and financial service company enclosed a blue card good for $250 off closing costs.

"We felt that this was an opportunity to provide something of value to our shareholders," said Louis J. Cappelli, chairman and chief executive. This offer was Sterling's second instance of piggybacking an offer with a financial statement. In the company's third-quarter report, Sterling also offered a $250 discount on closing costs.

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