Sterling Bancorp in Montebello, N.Y., has crossed the final hurdle for its pending purchase of Astoria Financial in Lake Success, N.Y.

The Federal Reserve Board approved the $2.2 billion deal, paving the way for an expected Oct. 2 closing, the companies said in a Thursday press release. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency signed off on the transaction in early August.

Jack Kopnisky, Sterling’s president and CEO.
Sterling Bancorp, led by CEO Jack Kopnisky, is on schedule to complete its purchase of Astoria Financial on Oct. 2.

The approval addressed short-lived concerns about Community Reinvestment Act compliance at the $15.3 billion-asset Sterling. The Fed in May sent a letter to Astoria’s legal counsel noting several CRA-related issues it wanted clarified before approving the deal.

The OCC, which at one point had determined that Sterling’s CRA data for 2014 to 2016 was “not reliable,” eventually gave the company a “satisfactory” rating.

The Fed noted in its order approving the deal that the issue was tied to errors in data related to small-business lending, which Sterling subsequently corrected. Examiners relied on the corrected data in the CRA evaluation, determining that Sterling in 2016 met or exceeded goals for home mortgage and small-business lending, qualified investments and community development services around New York.

The $14.1 billion-asset Astoria had previously agreed to be sold to New York Community Bancorp, but that transaction could not secure regulatory approval and fell through.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.