The Office of Thrift Supervision told Washington Mutual Inc. and H.F. Ahmanson & Co. Tuesday that it will begin its review of their competing applications to purchase Great Western Financial.

"We have the information we think we need to render a decision," a spokesman said. The thrift oversight agency has up to 60 days to rule. It can extend the review period an additional 30 days.

Washington Mutual's friendly offer for Great Western has already been approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Shareholders of the two companies are slated to vote on the merger in separate meetings on June 13.

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