Excel Communications Inc., Dallas, is pulling the plug on its thrift just six months after chartering it.

The long-distance phone company decided to ditch the charter because getting approval from banking regulators might have slowed Excel's $7 billion merger with Teleglobe Inc. of Montreal. The combined entity would have had to reapply to the Office of Thrift Supervision for a unitary thrift holding company charter, adding to the numerous approvals that the firms need from U.S. and Canadian regulators.

The company would have faced similar red tape anytime it expanded, said Excel chairman and president Kenny A. Troutt in a prepared statement late last week.

Excel will file "in the near future" to dissolve the charter for FirstExcel Federal Savings Bank, which the OTS granted in February. Excel had planned to use the thrift charter to provide banking services to its employees, independent agents, and ultimately the general public. Loan and deposit activity has been "minimal" because the thrift was still in a test phase, the company said.

Mr. Troutt added that the merged company will seek a strategic partner to handle the financial services needs of its employees and representatives.

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