The Office of Thrift Supervision on Thursday urged the industry to post privacy policies on transactional Web sites.

Thrifts operating sites that allow customers to access account balances, transfer funds, or apply for a loan should tell customers how their personal information will be used. Customers should have an opportunity to limit the use of their personal information, the OTS said.

The agency said 65 thrifts are currently operating transactional Web sites. Anticipating an increase, OTS Deputy Director Richard M. Riccobono summarized the existing regulatory guidance covering Web sites in a four- page letter to thrift chief executives. Beyond privacy, the letter tackles security concerns and notice requirements.

Separately this week, the OTS awarded a charter to Polish National Alliance, a fraternal benefit society in Chicago. Collecting deposits from its 240,000 members as well as the general public, Alliance FSB plans to originate and purchase one- to four-family mortgages and home equity and deposit account loans.

Founded in 1880, Polish National provides life insurance and other financial products to its members. It is licensed in 38 states and the District of Columbia.

"Alliance must conduct ongoing market research that measures the effectiveness of its advertising and media campaign directed to the general public and file an annual report," the OTS said. Before Alliance FSB may expand its lending beyond the Chicago area, it must explain how it will comply with the Community Reinvestment Act, the OTS said.

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