SAN FRANCISCO -- Downey Savings and Loan ASsociation plans to form a holding company and switch to a federal thrift charter, the institution said Thursday.

Downey, one of the last of Califomia's midsize thrifts operating under a state savings and loan charter, said the parent company will be called Downey Financial Corp. and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, The thrift said it expects to complete the changeS, which must receive regulatory approval, early in 1995.

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