The government has streamlined the process of chartering a federal thrift.

The rule, effective July 1, will eliminate several obsolete and duplicative requirements regarding capital maintenance agreements and conflicts of interest. It also brings several Office of Thrift Supervision requirements in line with those of other agencies.

For example, the OTS reduced the minimum initial capital required to charter a thrift by one-third, to $2 million. This is the same start-up capital level required by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The rule, published in the May 19 Federal Register, also updates requirements governing thrift business plans and boards of directors.

The final rule is nearly identical to the proposal, which was issued more than two years ago. The rule was delayed by work on a major revision of corporate governance regulations, the agency said.

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