Several of the largest financial services companies, including Fidelity Management & Research Corp. of Boston and Aetna of Hartford, Conn., have recently been granted federal thrift charters. The charters allow these firms to operate federal savings banks and expand product offerings to customers nationwide.

Other major financial services companies, including some well-known mutual fund managers and insurance companies, are seeking approval to establish their own thrift institutions. (see chart) Among these are Paine Webber Group of New York, Franklin Resources of San Mateo, Calif., SEI Investments of Oaks, Pa. and The Capital Group Companies of Brea, Calif., parent company to Capital Research & Management of Los Angeles, the adviser to the American Funds. American Express of New York also plans to offer personal trust services through a new Minneapolis-based thrift institution.

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