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Sound Financial to change regulators

Sat., Dec. 29, 2012

Sound Financial Bancorp of Seattle said Friday that its subsidiary, Sound Commercial Bank, will exchange its federal thrift charter for a state commercial bank charter.

While Sound’s customers probably won’t notice any difference, CEO Laurie Stewart said in a statement, state regulation should be somewhat cheaper for the bank, and the commercial-bank charter will give it “slightly more flexibility in commercial lending.”

The bank’s primary regulator will change from the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to the state Department of Financial Institutions, which Stewart said, will have its own benefits.

“As a community bank doing business in Washington, we believe the DFI has an understanding of issues facing banks in our state,” she said. “If we want to talk to the regulator we simply go across the street instead of across the country.”

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will continue as the bank’s backup regulator, and the holding company will continue to be overseen by the Federal Reserve.

The company had $366.5 million in assets as of Sept. 30 and $313 million in deposits.

The bank has two offices in Clallam County and one each in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.


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