This morning we will have introductory remarks from Mr. John Millman, President of Sterling Bancorp; and Mr. John Tietjen, Chief Financial Officer. After which, we’ll be happy to open up the call for your questions.
And with that, I’ll turn the call over to Mr. Millman.
Thank you, Ed and good morning everyone. Welcome to our conference call for the third quarter ended September 30, 2011. In the third quarter, we continued the strong financial and operational performance that is distinguished Sterling throughout 2011. This was our best quarter of the year in terms of earnings and was also noteworthy for double digit growth in loans, deposits and total assets.Let me highlight some of our key accomplishments for the 2011 third quarter. Our earnings performance has trended in a positive direction as compared to both the 2011 second quarter and a year ago third quarter. Net income available to common shareholders was $4.4 million a sequential increase of 74% from the 2011 second quarter. This growth was driven by higher revenues and unchanged provision for loan losses and the elimination of dividends and accretion no preferred shares related to the TARP Capital Purchase Program. Our recent earnings performance also represents a substantial improvement over the third quarter of 2010 on our decision to accelerate the resolution of certain non-accrual loans resulted in a net loss for that period. Unlike some banking institutions our earnings growth was not dependent on recapturing loan loss reserves. Our allowance at September 30, 2011 was $19.5 million or about $1.4 million higher than a year ago. We have continued to grow our business and expand our share of the market once again setting records for loans, deposits and total assets. Total loans in the portfolio were up 13% to nearly $1.5 billion, which is an increase of $167 million from a year ago. Loan demand has been strong in our traditional C&I category and we have also seen accelerated volumes in the mortgage warehouse lending product that we introduced last year.