NEW YORK - Federated Department Stores Inc. said it has applied to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for a national bank charter. The proposed Federated National Bank would issue and service credit cards for Federated's seven department store divisions.

James Zimmerman, president of the chain, said a centralized card bank would simplify compliance with regulations of 26 states in which the company operates.

Federated said it has more than 30 million credit accounts and posted $1.5 billion in receivables for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31. The bank would be run by James Amann, chairman of the financial and credit services group.

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