Commerce Bancshares says it will not apply for funds available through the federal Capital Purchase Program. The program is part of the federal government’s Troubled Assets Relief Program, which Congress approved in October to strengthen the banking system by providing banks with additional capital to increase lending capabilities.

“Commerce carefully studied the program, and while we think it is good for our industry and the economy, we have made a business decision not to seek federal CPP funds,” said David W. Kemper, Commerce Bancshares chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Commerce’s earnings, capital and liquidity are strong and sufficient to grow our business and take advantage of new opportunities.”