The Federal Reserve Board has approved the applications of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. and Protective Life Corp. to acquire troubled savings and loans.
At the same time, the Office of Thrift Supervision says it has approved the application of Phoenix Companies Inc., Hartford, to acquire American Sterling Bank, Sugar Creek, Mo.
The insurers made the acquisitions in an effort to become federally regulated financial institutions that are qualified to participate in the Treasury Department Capital Purchase Program.
The $250 billion CPP pool is part of the $700 billion federal Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.
Genworth Financial Inc., Richmond, Va., also has applied for permission to become a thrift holding company and then to acquire a thrift. That application is still pending, according to an OTS spokesman.
The original Treasury Department CPP guidelines called for federal agencies to complete work on applications filed by insurers and others by Thursday.
The Fed approved the application filed by Hartford Financial, Hartford, indirectly, by approving the application of Allianz S.E., Munich, Germany, to acquire what could become a 30% stake in Hartford Financial if Allianz exercises warrants it was granted Oct. 6.
The Fed approval of the Allianz application was the last approval Hartford Financial needed to acquire Federal Trust Corp., Sanford, Fla., a unitary thrift holding company.