charter with a state one and transforming from a thrift into a commercial bank with the largest deposit share in wealthy Palm Beach County of any independent bank headquartered there. The $274 million-asset Republic Security Financial Corp. and its subsidiary, Republic Security Bank, completed the conversions after receiving parallel approvals from the state and the Federal Reserve. The conversions "represent terrific opportunities for growth and development in the future," said Rudy Schupp, Republic chairman, in a press release. "This charter is central to our plan to be Palm Beach County's bank." The company, based in West Palm Beach, maintains seven branches throughout the area. In an effort to increase its interest spread during the last three years, the company has been gradually shifting its asset and deposit base from the traditional thrift focus on certificates of deposits and mortgages to more emphasis on checking accounts and commercial and consumer lending. Company officials decided to pursue the formal charter flip after realizing they were about to fail the qualified thrift lender test, which requires that thrifts maintain 70% of their assets in mostly home mortgages in order to maintain the tax-free status of the bad debt reserve. "We were already beginning to look like a commercial bank, said Richard J. Haskins, executive vice president. "Now we have the charter."

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