Metropolitan National Bank in New York is changing its name and ditching its national charter.

The $625 million-asset bank said Thursday that it plans to become Metropolitan Commercial Bank and operate under a state charter. The New York State Department of Financial Services approved the change last month, and Metropolitan said it expects the changes to take effect by the end of the year.

The New York regulator also approved Metropolitan's bid to retain its ownership interest in CashZone Financial Services, which markets a prepaid card and operates check-cashing centers.

"Our board... has determined that the bank's conversion to a New York state-chartered commercial bank will best position the bank in continuing to execute our business strategy and to compete in the New York market," Metropolitan Chief Executive Mark DeFazio said in a press release.

When the conversion is complete, the New York Department of Financial Services will be Metropolitan's primary regulator and the Federal Reserve Bank will serve as its main federal regulator.

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