The subsidiary of Munster-based NorthWest Indiana Bancorp is undergoing a major change. Peoples Bank SB has received state and federal approval to convert from an Indiana-chartered stock savings bank to an Indiana-chartered commercial bank and will drop the “SB” from its name.

Peoples Bank received the approvals from the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to make the conversion earlier this month.

Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Bochnowski says the conversion to a commercial bank is an important strategic initiative that will benefit all of the bank’s customers, shareholders and employees.

“The charter conversion better reflects our business, and lets us compete more effectively with other commercial banks in our market area,” Bochnowski said in a news release. “This commercial bank charter will better convey our brand as a dynamic community banking financial institution offering a wide array of products and services.”

The bank says the conversion is not expected to affect customers in any way. NWIN says it expects the conversion to become effective later this quarter.