Fox Chase Bancorp (FXCB) in Hatboro, Pa., wants to discard its federal thrift charter.

The $1.1 billion-asset company has filed with regulators to convert its bank to a state charter, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported Thursday. It also filed to become a bank holding company instead of a thrift holding company.

"There are things in the federal thrift charter that limit commercial activities," Thomas Petro, the company's chief executive, told the publication. "We are now pressing up against some of those thresholds. So to continue to grow, we needed to change our charter."

Fox Chase executives did not immediately respond to American Banker's requests for additional comment.

Fox Chase converted to a stock-based ownership structure from a mutual thrift in June 2010. As part of the conversion, the company agreed to maintain a federal charter that would subject it to oversight by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency until at least June 2013, the company said in a regulatory filing. If the company's application for a state charter is approved, the Pennsylvania Department of Banking would become its primary regulator.

Fox Chase's units include Fox Chase Financial, an investment company; Fox Chase Service, which holds an interest in a Philadelphia-area mortgage firm; and Davisville Associates, which manages foreclosed assets, according to the filing.

Fox Chase has returned to profitability after struggling for years under the weight of bad loans. Its earnings increased 94% in the second quarter compared to a year earlier, reaching $1 million. At June 30, its Tier 1 leverage capital ratio was 12.78% and its total risk-based capital was 19.98%.

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