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More Insurers To Acquire Financial Institutions

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Life insurers are continuing to announce plans to take over banks and thrifts.

Protective Life Corp., Birmingham, Ala., says it has agreed to acquire Bonifay Holding Company Inc., Bonifay, Fla., the parent of the Bank of Bonifay.

Protective also has applied to the Federal Reserve Board for permission to become a bank holding company, and it has applied for permission to participate in the Treasury Department’s Capital Purchase Program.

The Protective announcement comes on the heels of an announcement that several other insurers, including Hartford Financial Group Inc., Hartford, and Genworth Financial Inc., Richmond, Va., have moved to acquire thrifts and file CPP applications.

In related news, Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, which already owns a thrift, Principal Bank FSB, says it has applied for up to $2 billion in CPP funding.

“The company believes it is prudent to consider the [CPP] as another option to build on its position of financial strength, by adding to its capital cushion in a time of volatile and uncertain market conditions,” Principal says.