Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL), a financial holding company headquartered in New York City and the parent company of Sterling National Bank, today announced that it has received approval from the U.S. Treasury Department to redeem the entire $42 million of preferred stock issued to the Treasury in December 2008 under the TARP Capital Purchase Program.  The Company will complete the preferred stock redemption today.  After redeeming the Treasury shares, Sterling’s capital ratios will continue to exceed the regulatory requirements for well-capitalized institutions.

“We have made the decision to repay the Capital Purchase Program funds from a position of strength, as Sterling continues to deliver profitable growth while actively engaging in lending activities that support our clients and the overall economy.  The approval of the Treasury Department to redeem the preferred shares attests to our status as a well-capitalized institution and our successful navigation of the economic downturn.  This action will enhance the Company’s financial flexibility and is in the best interests of our business, our shareholders and our customers,” said Louis J. Cappelli, Sterling’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

About Sterling Bancorp

Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL) is a New York City-based financial corporation with assets exceeding $2 billion. Since 1929, Sterling National Bank, the company’s principal banking subsidiary, has successfully served the needs of businesses, professionals and individuals in the New York metropolitan area and beyond. Sterling is well-known for its high-touch, hands-on approach to customer service and a special focus on serving the business community.

Sterling offers clients a full range of depository and cash management services plus a broad portfolio of financing solutions – including working capital lines, accounts receivable and inventory financing, factoring, trade financing, payroll funding and processing, equipment financing, commercial and residential mortgages and mortgage warehouse lines of credit.

Certain statements in this press release, including but not limited to, statements as to future events, future liquidity, statements concerning future results of operations, financial position or dividends, and plans and objectives for future operations, future capital and future growth, statements concerning the economic environment, and the Company’s position for future growth, the demand for the Company’s products and services, and other statements contained herein regarding matters that are not historical facts, are “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements are not historical facts but instead are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties, and represent only the Company’s belief regarding future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside its control. Any forward-looking statements the Company may make speak only as of the date on which such statements are made.  The Company’s actual results and financial position may differ materially from the anticipated results and financial condition indicated in or implied by these forward-looking statements, and the Company makes no commitment to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect new information or subsequent events or changes in expectations. For a discussion of some of the risks and important factors that could affect the Company’s future results and financial condition, see “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Forward-Looking Statements and Factors that Could Affect Future Results” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010.

CONTACT: John Tietjen, Chief Financial Officer,  , john.tietjen@sterlingbancorp.com, +1-212-757-8035; or Edward Nebb, Investor Relations, Comm-Counsellors, LLC, enebb@optonline.net, +1-203-972-8350

Web Site: http://www.sterlingbancorp.com

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