Baltimore County thrift seeks to change charter

Other thrifts across the country considering similar conversion

April 08, 2011|By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore County Savings Bank announced Friday that it is seeking to switch from a federally chartered savings bank to a Maryland-chartered commercial bank.

Bank president and chief executive Joseph J. Bouffard said in a statement that the state charter would be "a better fit for us as we continue to transform and streamline our operations…"

Banking consultant Bert Ely says other thrifts nationwide are contemplating similar moves. The Office of Thrift Supervision, which has regulated savings banks for years, will be merged in July into the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency that oversees national banks.

Some thrifts are deciding now would be a good time to switch to a state regulator that is viewed as being closer and more responsive, Ely said. Plus, switching from a thrift to commercial-bank charter allows an institution to do more business lending, he said.

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