Ford Motor Co. on Tuesday joined the host of nonbanks trying to start a federal thrift before Congress outlaws the charter.

Ford said it plans to use its thrift, which would be called ANFC Bank, to lend nationwide over the Internet. "Ford believes that the federal savings bank charter grants a broad range of powers to engage in consumer lending activities and provides greater operating flexibility than alternative means," according to its application to the Office of Thrift Supervision.

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