Washington Federal (WAFD) in Seattle has won regulatory approval to switch to a national bank from a thrift.

The $13.1 billion-asset company said Monday that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has endorsed its conversion. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco simultaneously gave Washington Federal's parent company permission to become a bank holding company.

Washington Federal expects to complete the change by the end of July. A national bank charter aligns more closely with its business model and the current financial regulatory structure, a company news release said.

Washington Federal has 188 branches in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Shares of Washington Federal rose 20 cents, to $17.61, in trading Monday.

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