First Financial Northwest in Renton, Wash., has filed for permission to adopt a commercial bank charter.

The $984 million-asset company submitted the application to the Washington Department of Financial Institutions, asking to drop its state savings bank charter, according to a Tuesday news release. First Financial Northwest did not indicate the timing of its application or when it expects to receive a response.

"With the completion of the charter conversion, we will be better positioned to implement our commercial banking operating strategy," Joseph Kiley, chief executive, said in the release.

First Financial Northwest has spent years on reinvention efforts, trying to distance itself from its thrift heritage. That's included changing the name of its bank to First Financial Northwest Bank from First Savings Bank Northwest. It's also implemented other operational changes, such as switching its core processing system.

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