WASHINGTON -- By exploiting a regulatory loophole, the Comptroller of the Currency is undercutting the nearly three-year delay Congress put on interstate branching.

Capital Bank, a $77 million-asset bank here, is the first institution to win the Comptroller's approval to branch into a new state. The bank, which has three offices in the District of Columbia, will open a new office in nearby Rockville, Md., and designate it as its headquarters.

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