ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. -- Pioneer Bancorp Inc. said the board of its Pioneer Savings Bank consented to an agreement with the Office of Thrift Supervision that could lead to its seizure as early as Aug. 3.

With the bank short of its core and risk-based capital requirements, it is already subject to conservatorship, but the consent agreement gives it a little breathing room.

"All of our efforts have previously been directed toward Pioneer's restructuring and financing recovery, but will now be redirected toward seeking an acquirer," said president Ed Roughton.

The agreement places certain operating restrictions on Pioneer, which has about $425 million in assets, and authorizes the OTS to negotiate a merger, consolidation, acquisition, or otherwise intervene after Aug. 3 unless the deadline is extended.

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