Synchrony Financial, the $76 billion-asset credit card issuer that held an initial public offering in July 2014, says that it is on track to complete its separation from General Electric before the end of this year.

Speaking at an industry conference Wednesday, Synchrony Chief Executive Officer Margaret Keane said that a team from the Federal Reserve has recently been reviewing the company's application for a split-off from GE.

"We're pretty much winding that down. Our belief at the moment is that fourth quarter is still definitely doable," Keane said at a Barclays conference in New York, referring to her company's separation from GE.

"So, fingers crossed, we feel like everything we've been asked to do, all the infrastructure that we needed to get in place, is there. And it's really a question of the Fed, and getting the final approval from the Fed."

Synchrony, which used to be part of GE Capital, remains 85% owned by General Electric even after last year's IPO.

The Stamford, Conn.-based company, which specializes in store-branded credit cards, also signaled Wednesday that it plans to pursue growth more aggressively once the GE separation is complete.

"GE didn't necessarily hold us back, but they kind of kept us in a box, for sure," Keane said.

She indicated that other divisions within the industrial behemoth were bigger priorities for GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, citing investments in information technology as an example.

"Obviously, when you're part of a big company - we weren't at the top of Jeff's list on IT investments, I can tell you that," Keane said.

She also suggested that after the separation, Synchrony will be able to pursue more partnership deals with merchants.

"There are more opportunities out there that I think we can go after," Keane said. "I'm not saying GE would have said no, but it probably would have been harder to get through."

Once the Fed approves the GE-Synchrony split, GE plans to offer its shareholders the opportunity to exchange GE stock for shares in Synchrony.

The separation could put downward pressure on Synchrony's stock price, and some analysts believe the effects of the split are already starting to be priced into the stock. Shares in Synchrony debuted at $23 and rose as high as $35.99 before falling to $30.88 when the market closed on Wednesday.

In preparation for the separation, Synchrony announced Tuesday the appointment of four new nonvoting observers to its board of directors. They are eventually expected to take the place of GE executives, who will be required to step down from Synchrony's board when the split occurs.

The four new appointees are: Paget Alves, a former executive at the wireless carrier Sprint; Art Coviello, a former executive at EMC Corp.; Will Graylin, the CEO of LoopPay; and Laurel Richie, president of the WNBA, the women's pro basketball league.

A fifth nonvoting observer, former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, was appointed in January.

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