NU Online News Service, July 16, 6:28 p.m. – InsurBanc F.S.B., Farmington, Conn., has received permission from the federal Office of Thrift Supervision to do business in 15 more states.

InsurBanc, a federal savings bank, can now open full-service operations in three additional states and offer limited services in another 12 states, organizers say.

The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, Alexandria, Va., established InsurBanc in 2001.

Officially, InsurBanc is an operating subsidiary of Peyton Street Independent Financial Services Corp., a thrift holding company jointly owned by the IIABA and W.R. Berkley Corp., Greenwich, Conn., a property-casualty insurance holding company.

Until now, the thrift has been able to offer full banking services only in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

Now that the thrift has the blessing of the OTS, it can also offer full banking services in Delaware, Maine and Rhode Island. In addition, it can provide limited services in Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Virginia.

Limited-service authority does not allow the bank to provide services directly to consumers, but that level of authority does permit the thrift to provide commercial and consumer banking services to insurance agencies and agency employees, as well as to pay referral fees to agents for originating credit card applications and settlement fees for residential mortgages.

The OTS also approved a new online education program that InsurBanc has developed for agents, the IIABA says.

The InsurBanc expansion is part of a gradual process that ultimately aims to take InsurBanc national, says IIABA spokesman Jeffrey Myers.

“The whole premise of InsurBanc is to give agents access to financial products so they can compete in the financial services marketplace,” Myers says.