Eagle Bancorp Montana (EBMT) in Helena has applied for a state charter for its American Federal Savings Bank.

The $520 million-asset company said it has already received an interim bank charter from Montana's Banking Commissioner. The company said it will also need to apply to merge the interim bank into the existing American Federal in a process that can take up to four months.

Eagle said it also plans to change American Federal's name to Opportunity Bank of Montana.

"We are dedicated to a seamless integration of our new brand and our new name into the communities, the businesses, the families and the individuals who we serve every day," Pete Johnson, the company's president and chief executive, said in a press release. "We are confident that our exciting new approach to the Montana marketplace will foster even greater innovation, efficiency and customer service on both a short and long-term basis."

Opportunity Bank's leadership is in the process of obtaining the appropriate regulatory, legal and trademark ownership of the new name and associated brands such as Opportunity Mortgage and Opportunity Financial Planning.

Adding the charter should prove helpful to Montana, where Glacier Bancorp (GBCI) and First Interstate BancSystem (FIBK) contribute roughly a quarter of the banking commission's annual revenue.

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