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Sterling Bancorp Announces Acquisition Of Universal Mortgage

NEW YORK, Aug. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL) today announced that its wholly-owned, New York City-based subsidiary, Sterling National Bank, has acquired the business of Universal Mortgage, Inc., a leading residential mortgage broker in Brooklyn with offices in Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope. Universal's principals and their team, most of whom are engaged in mortgage production, will join Sterling.  

"The addition of Universal Mortgage has many exciting strategic benefits for Sterling," said Louis J. Cappelli, Sterling Bancorp's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  "We are acquiring a strong source of mortgage production that will complement our existing mortgage banking business and further enhance our significant level of noninterest income. At the same time, Universal's offices give us our first physical presence in Brooklyn – expanding our market footprint into fast-growing areas that have a high demand for a range of financial services beyond mortgages.  We look forward to the opportunity to work with the Universal team and to introduce Sterling's array of products to Universal's customers, as well as other businesses and residents in Brooklyn."

"Universal Mortgage has been a pioneer in providing mortgage financing for home buyers across the vibrant and dynamic neighborhoods of Brooklyn for over 20 years. The principals of Universal, Norman Calvo and Edward Ades, consistently rank among the highest-producing mortgage brokers nationally, and will continue to lead the Universal business as part of our overall mortgage banking operation. We welcome Norman, Edward and the entire Universal team to Sterling," stated Michael Bizenov, Executive Vice President of Sterling National Bank and Division President—Residential Mortgage.

"We have had a great working relationship with many of the people at Sterling that goes back more than two decades, and we share a philosophy of exceptional customer service," noted Universal Mortgage founder Norman Calvo.

"Joining forces with Sterling brings the advantages of a strong capital base, portfolio of products and services, and an 80-plus year commitment to the needs of customers in the New York City metropolitan area that will enable the Universal team to realize additional opportunities for growth," added Universal principal Edward Ades.

The acquisition is effective immediately.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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