WASHINGTON - The Office of Thrift Supervision has given Washington Mutual Inc., Seattle, permission to acquire Salt Lake City-based Olympus Capital Corp.

Several community groups had protested the deal, arguing that neither institution is meeting the credit needs of its community.

OTS, however, found no merit to the protests, saying in its April 14 order that approval in consistent with the Community Reinvestment Act.

Washington Mutual officials said they were pleased that the deal can proceed. "Washington Mutual looks forward to bringing its consumer banking philosophy to the communities now served by Olympus Bank," Washington Mutual chairman and president Kerry Killinger said in a prepared statement. "Our products and services should be a good fit in the Utah and Montana markets."

The new bank will hold nearly $19 billion in assets and operate in five states.

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