Ohio Governor, S&Ls; Agree On Plan to Reopen

From Times Wire Services

Gov. Richard F. Celeste and officers of 68 closed savings and loans agreed Wednesday on emergency regulations that they hope will permit them to begin reopening today--with some account holders permitted to withdraw only up to $750 a month.

Thomas Batties, state superintendent of savings and loans, said that limit would apply to institutions that want to open but are unable to satisfy the state that they have obtained enough insurance to cover all deposits.

Institutions that apply for federal insurance or otherwise demonstrate to state officials that they can meet depositors' demands would be allowed to open on a full-service basis, with no limits on customer withdrawals or deposits, he said.

Celeste and the thrift officers met to put finishing touches to the regulations only 10 hours after the state Legislature approved--and the governor signed--a bill requiring the closed state-chartered institutions to apply for federal deposit insurance, or equivalent coverage, before reopening.

Batties said the meeting was to establish procedures to govern the limited release of money.

Celeste ordered the institutions closed last Friday after mass withdrawals by depositors at a few institutions following the collapse a week earlier of Home State Savings Bank of Cincinnati.

In Washington, a spokesman for the Federal Home Loan Bank Board said 14 Ohio thrifts had applied for federal deposit insurance since the closing of Home State on March 9. Fifteen more have sent letters indicating that they intend to apply.

Batties said the Federal Reserve in Cleveland had agreed to make its discount window available to those institutions that open, providing the institutions with a source of cash if needed.

"One of the things we're concerned about is that they have adequate liquidity to meet . . . some of the fearful depositors that they might encounter on their first days. That's one of our primary considerations," he said.

In Washington, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul A. Volcker said the Fed is prepared to lend funds to the savings banks closed last Friday until they are strong enough to reopen.

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