Howard Savings Bank has entered into a written agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the New Jersey Department of Banking to tighten lending practices and build capital.

The agreement supersedes a less-stringent memorandum of understanding imposed by regulators in May 1990. It requires the Livingston, N.J.-based company to build core capital to 3% of assets -- from its June 30 level of 2.44% -- by the end of the year. Howard, which has $4.1 billion in assets, must hit a 6% core capital ratio by the end of 1992.

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