WASHINGTON — The Office of Thrift Supervision issued a rule Friday aimed at streamlining the application processes for mergers, charter applications, and conversions.

Under the new rule, the agency may ask some applicants to meet with its officials to address substantive legal or policy issues that arise early in the application cycle. The regulation, which goes into effect next month, will require applicants to provide more information earlier in the process.

In conjunction with the new rule, the OTS is revising its application instructions and issuing a revised “Application Processing Handbook.”

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