H&R Block Bank Beckons

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KANSAS CITY - (09/06/05) -- Tax preparers H&R Block, whichhas evolved into a diversified financial services provider, saidlast week it expects to win a bank charter under Utah's IndustrialLoan Company regulations later this year. The company, which runs alarge mortgage banking and financial consulting operation, is thelatest, along with Wal-Mart, Sallie Mae, and other non-traditionalfinancial service providers, to seek a bank charter under Utah'slaws. Separately, Block reported a loss of $28.3 million, or 9cents a share, for its first quarter, compared with a loss of $36.7million, or 11 cents a share, a year earlier. The company usuallyhas a down season in its first quarter, which comes after taxseason. Revenue for the first quarter rose 26% to $615 million,lifted by strong sales in the company's Option One mortgagedivision, where loan volume surged 60% to an all-time high of $10.9billion.

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