Electronic Clearing House Inc., a credit card and check processor, has withdrawn its applications for a bank charter, saying its slumping stock price and an unwarranted association with Internet-only banking had hurt its prospects.

Echo, which serves more than 58,000 merchants and U-Haul dealers, applied in 1999 to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for a bank charter so it could hold deposits for those customers. On Wednesday the Agoura Hills, Calif., company announced that it had given up.

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