Following in the footsteps of some of the nation's largest banks, a small Massachusetts thrift company plans to form its own Internet-only bank.

Brookline Bancorp, parent of a five-branch thrift just outside of Boston, has filed a request with state regulators to open Lighthouse Bank. The subsidiary, which could be running by the first quarter of 2000, will offer a full range of deposit accounts, credit cards, and mortgage loans.

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