The Office of Thrift Supervision approved applications late Friday for Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. and Lincoln National Corp. to become thrift holding companies and take over two deeply troubled thrifts.

The approval allows the insurance companies to qualify for government capital.

Hartford has a deal to buy the $637 million-asset Federal Trust Corp. in Sanford, Fla. Lincoln is pairing up with the $7 million-asset Newton County Savings Bank in Goodland, Ind. Because Newton County Savings is a mutual thrift, its acquisition involves a supervisory conversion to a stock savings bank. The OTS approved the conversion along with Lincoln's holding company application.

The OTS attached several conditions to its approval of the holding company applications. For example, both Hartford's and Lincoln's acquisitions must be completed within 30 days, and the thrifts must submit written business plans to the agency every quarter for the next three years.

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