ATLANTA — NetBank is to announce today that the Office of Thrift Supervision has approved its 2001 community reinvestment plan, an approval that could pave the way for standards-setting at other banks that operate exclusively or almost exclusively online.

These institutions have struggled to comply with the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, which requires banks to invest in the localities in which they do business. A strict interpretation of the law could overburden Internet banks, many of which have customers across the country.

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