Eight community banks have transferred their shares to a new trading platform operated by OTC Markets Group in a bid to increase visibility for their stocks.

The OTCQX Banks market is intended to improve banks' liquidity by increasing the trading volume of their shares. Each bank is required to select an investment bank to serve as its broker-dealer on the exchange. OTC Markets also provides trading benchmarks to help investors monitor the banks' share performance.

Banks on the new platform will also be required to file quarterly and yearly financial reports. Other OTC Markets-operated platforms make such reporting optional. The reports are designed to be easier to read than the call reports banks must file with federal regulators.

OTC Markets expects more banks among the 650 that now trade on its other platforms to eventually switch to the new banks-only market.

The institutions that have moved to OTCQX Banks are Calvin B. Taylor Bankshares, a $444 million-asset company in Berlin, Md.; the $553 million-asset Cortland Bancorp in Cortland, Ohio; First ULB in Oakland, Calif., with $345 million of assets; Harleysville Savings Financial, a $816 million-asset company in Harleysville, Pa.; the $645 million-asset Katahdin Bankshares in Patten, Maine; the $431 million-asset Standard Financial in Export, Pa.; the $407 million-asset First BancTrust in Paris, Ill.; and Virginia National Bankshares, a $513 million-asset company in Charlottesville.

Those banks switched from OTCQB, a lower-profile OTC Markets platform.

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