Oklahoma City-based Local Federal Bank is creating a corporate lending group so it can better serve its customers close to home.

The $2.1 billion-asset thrift has hired two experienced local bankers to head the unit, which will target big Oklahoma-based corporations. Together with its commercial lending division, Local Federal said it can serve businesses of all sizes.

Local Federal, which has done some commercial real estate lending outside its home state, is evolving into a commercial bank focused on its Oklahoma market, said Ed Townsend, the thrift's chairman and chief executive officer.

The thrift has been restructuring its operations since Mr. Townsend and a group of investors bought Local Federal's holding company, Local Financial Corp., late last year.

Tulsa-based Local America Bank, a second Local Financial subsidiary, merged into Local Federal this month. The post-merger institution has 50 branches statewide.

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