State-Chartered Ohio S&Ls; Get OK to Reopen

Associated Press

All of Ohio's state-chartered savings and loan associations got the go-ahead Friday to reopen for limited withdrawals pending their attempts to get federal insurance to cover full-service operations.

At the same time, the office of Gov. Richard F. Celeste announced that seven Ohio institutions that have applied for federal insurance are free to open with each deposit up to $100,000 fully insured by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp.

Raymond Sawyer, Celeste's chief of staff, and Commerce Director Kenneth R. Cox made the announcement at a news conference.

Robert B. McAlister--named by the governor earlier Friday as the state's new S&L; superintendent--introduced himself as "a reopening czar" and said he plans to get all of the S&Ls; back in business within 120 days.

Thomas L. Batties, replaced as acting superintendent by McAlister but retained as legal counsel for the savings and loan division, will work with McAlister in the effort, Sawyer said.

Batties described himself and McAlister as "a management team that will work for the best interest of the savings and loans and the depositors."

The Federal Home Loan Bank Board announced late Friday that it had given conditional approval to seven Ohio thrifts--which had been insured by the Ohio Deposit Guarantee Fund--for inclusion in the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp. FSLIC insures deposits up to $100,000.

Except for one other Ohio thrift, the seven are the first to be approved since the closing of the Cincinnati-based Home State Savings Bank on March 8, which set off the crisis.

Last Friday, the board approved FSLIC insurance for Columbia Savings, whose application was pending for more than a year.

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