A Pennsylvania thrift holding company has doubled its loan portfolio by buying a package of loans once held by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

USABancshares, parent of $55 million-asset Peoples Thrift Savings Bank, Plymouth Meeting, Pa., bought $10 million of loans from a private company it wouldn't identify.

The portfolio, which comprises 46 loans, primarily includes assets taken over by the FDIC from failed banks and thrifts during the past five years.

Kenneth L. Tepper, president and chief executive officer of USABancshares, said each loan is secured by real estate in southeastern Pennsylvania or adjacent parts of New Jersey.

This is the largest of five loan acquisitions USABancshares has made in the past two years, Mr. Tepper said.

"Our strategy for growth is to focus on new loan origination and the acquisition of seasoned portfolios," he said. "We think it gives us a great opportunity to grow in a way that is safe, sound, and immediately profitable."

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