Los Angeles Times

Two local banks switch to local regulator

Two Baltimore-area banks have changed their charters so that they will be regulated by the state rather than the federal government, their new regulator said Tuesday.

Midstate Community Bank — which had been Midstate Federal Savings and Loan Association — and Liberty Bank of Maryland, previously also a federal savings and loan, both converted to state-chartered mutual savings banks last week. That brings to 65 the number of state-chartered financial institutions, according to Maryland's Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation.

Midstate, on York Road in Rodgers Forge, has assets of more than $180 million, the regulator said. Liberty, with branches in Baltimore City and Harford County, has assets of more than $46 million.

Midstate said in a statement that it wanted a regulator "familiar with Maryland and smaller community-focused institutions." Liberty said it also preferred to have a local regulator.

Five institutions have converted to state charters since 2010. Most of them had been regulated by the Office of Thrift Supervision, which was folded into the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency after the financial crisis.

"The merger, I think, is what's driving it," said Mark Kaufman, the state's commissioner of financial regulation. "It's the natural time to reevaluate a charter."

jhopkins@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RealEstateWonk

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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