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Banking, most read

Apart from earnings news, thisweek's most read articles include a feature on F.N.B. Corp.'s recently announceddeal with Yadkin Financial Corp.

Amidinvestor concern about pricing and integration risk, executives defended 's planned acquisitionof Yadkin Financial a strategic move that would provide the bank an important new level of scaleand attractive opportunities for long-term growth.

Big U.S.banks remain hungry for higher interest rates, but in the meantime, several majorlenders said they are benefiting from a strengthening consumer-driven domestic economythat is fueling loan demand and helping to keep credit quality solid.

Ann Arbor,Mich.-based Arbor Bancorp Inc.agreed to acquire Birmingham, Mich.-based BirminghamBloomfield Bancshares Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately$33.3 million. The transaction should close by year-end.

Low interestrates weighed on Bank of America Corp.'ssecond-quarter earnings, which fell from year-ago levels. But the company believesit can drive earnings higher in the future, even if rates remain low, by keepingnet interest income stable while decreasing expenses.

M&T makesstrides with Hudson City deal, looks to defend NIM

M&T Bank Corp.gave up some ground on its net interest margin amid the protracted low-rate environment,but its CFO said the bank is capitalizing on the acquisition of , pushing up commerciallending while taking out costs and bolstering efficiency.