SAN RAFAEL, Calif. - Directors of New Horizons Savings, a state- chartered savings and loan with three branches, voted to form a holding company and seek a federal charter.

Jim Barnett, the president and chief executive officer, said the holding company, NHS Financial Inc., would give the thrift more flexibility. "In the long run, shareholder value will be enhanced by our ability to diversify our business activities better and to make future acquisitions where appropriate."

The charter switch will eliminate duplicative regulatory filings, he added.

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