An Internet-based consumer finance company has asked the Office of Thrift Supervision for permission to become a thrift holding company.

San Francisco-based Internet Access Financial Corp. would be the fourth thrift company to offer its products exclusively on-line. The OTS most recently gave Principal Mutual Insurance Co. permission to create an Internet-only savings bank in November.

Internet Access Financial Corp. said that once it became a holding company it would spend $7 million to capitalize a new thrift, to be called NextBank. The thrift's first product will be a credit card, the NextCard, a Visa that the company currently offers through its Web site. Other consumer banking products will be offered on-line.

"Applicant believes that the savings bank may be able to offer superior products, at lower costs to consumers and with greater profitability than non-Internet focused competitors," the company said in its application, which was filed May 28.

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