Seeking to offer trust services nationwide, American Express Co. on Friday applied for a federal thrift charter.

American Express Personal Trust Services FSB would be 100% owned by American Express Co., which also asked the Office of Thrift Supervision for permission to become a unitary thrift holding company. An American Express official said the firm's 8,000 financial advisers would offer the thrift's trust services nationwide. The company expects the thrift will open in early 1999.

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