First Bancshares (FBSI) in Mountain Grove, Mo., has completed its conversion from a thrift to a state-chartered bank.

The $188 million-asset First Bancshares has also been approved to become a bank holding company, according to a Monday press release. The effective date for both changes was Jan 22.

"Our conversion to a state-chartered non-member commercial bank reflects the bank's operating strategy and will also result in reduced regulatory fees," R. Bradley Weaver, the president and chief executive of First Bancshares and its bank, said in the release.

First Bancshares changed the name of its bank to First Home Bank. It previously operated under the name First Home Savings Bank. It has eight branches in Missouri.

First Bancshares was released last fall from a cease-and-desist order issued in August 2009 by the Federal Reserve Board. The company was required to clean up its loan portfolio, improve earnings and revise risk management practices.

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