The Office of Thrift Supervision on Monday approved a bid by Travelers Group to convert its Delaware-chartered commercial bank into a federal thrift. It was the second time this month that the government has permitted a major insurance company to open a thrift.

Travelers will merge its mortgage lending and trust activities into the thrift, which will be based in Delaware. OTS said its expects the insurer to follow through with a $430 million Community Reinvestment Act pledge and to implement a monitoring system for its high-cost mortgage loan program.

Five other insurers have applications pending with OTS. Although other insurers have thrifts, this is only the second charter granted since Congress began debating a bill to eliminate the thrift charter.

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