WASHINGTON - The Office of Thrift Supervision last week issued a bulletin outlining how small savings institutions can avoid the requirement for an annual independent audit.

The agency used to require annual independent audits of all the thrifts it regulates. But last November, in an effort to reduce the regulatory burden and bring its rules in line with those of the banking agencies, the OTS made audits optional for thrifts with assets under $500 million and Camel ratings of 1 or 2.

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