Pulaski Financial (PULB) in St. Louis is looking to convert to a national bank from a federal savings bank.

The $1.3 billion-asset company said it expects to complete the conversion later this year. After the conversion, Pulaski will still be regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board.

"Our business model and our balance sheet are no longer well-suited to the federal thrift charter," Gary Douglas, Pulaski's chief executive, said in a press release. "The charter conversion will give us the flexibility to continue to grow our commercial business alongside of our traditional retail business. In addition, we expect Pulaski and its shareholders ultimately will benefit from comparison to a peer group of banks, rather than thrifts."

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