WASHINGTON - The Office of Thrift Supervision last week approved charters for three new thrifts and a lender converting from a state charter.

The number of thrifts has gradually declined in the past decade. In an interview Monday, however, OTS Deputy Director Richard M. Riccobono said the four approvals "bring to about 115 the number of new thrift charters we have granted over the past three and a half years, attesting to the continued popularity and versatility of the federal thrift charter."

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