Nationwide Insurance Enterprise won government approval Thursday to charter a federal savings bank.

The $83 billion-asset insurer's new thrift, Nationwide Trust Co., will provide trust services to corporate retirement plans. Until now, the Columbus, Ohio-based insurance and financial services firm hired banks to perform such services.

According to Nationwide's Nov. 25 application at the Office of Thrift Supervision, Nationwide Trust will be capitalized with $3.5 million in cash. In chartering a thrift, Nationwide joins insurers like ReliaStar Financial Corp., Travelers Group, and Principal Mutual Insurance Co.

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