MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- National Commerce Bancorp has received regulatory approvals to convert its Knoxville, Tenn., subsidiary to a federal savings bank from a state-chartered institution.

A spokesman said the company will use the federal savings bank charter to expand into North Carolina, since current bank regulations do not allow branching across state lines, except by federally chartered thrifts.

National Commerce said supermarket branches would soon open in Kroger Co. stores in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. In an unrelated matter, the company increased the size of its board by two, to 26.

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