Two more insurance companies have applied for federal thrift charters.

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. applied to the Office of Thrift Supervision last week to open Blue Chip Trust Co., a thrift that would offer only trust services, said Tracy L. Rich, vice president and deputy general counsel for the insurer.

MassMutual, as it is known, is the sixth-largest mutual life insurance company in the country, with $61 billion of assets and 2.7 million policy holders, according to OTS filings. The company has 5,000 agents nationwide.

On Dec. 7, American Sterling Bancorp of Sugar Creek, Mo., filed an application to convert its American Sterling Bank into a thrift. American Sterling Corp., the insurance holding company, would then acquire the banking unit. American Sterling Corp. owns 24.9% of American Sterling Bancorp.

In an OTS filing, American Sterling Bancorp said a federal thrift charter would make it easier to open branches and let it avoid some state regulations.

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