Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. has
obtained permission to operate a new, federally insured savings
bank specializing in trust services.
The Office of Thrift Supervision announced Monday its approval
for the company to open the bank, to be named Northwestern Mutual
Trust Co. and based in Milwaukee.
The new thrift will offer trust services, which include acting
as an investment adviser or custodian of trust funds or property
held in trust, executing wills and acting as guardian of an estate
or trustee of an IRA account.
Its main source of prospective customers will be referrals from
Northwestern Mutual's 7,500 agents in all 50 states and from
employees in the company's regional sales offices.
Northwestern Mutual, also based in Milwaukee, is the nation's
sixth-largest life insurance company, with more than $583 billion
in current insurance policies.
The federal approval makes Northwestern Mutual the latest in a
string of companies in the financial services business to get new
federal savings and loan charters in recent months.
Earlier this year the thrift agency, part of the Treasury
Department, approved similar charters for tractor maker Deere &
Co.; American Express Co.; General Motors Corp.'s consumer finance
division; New York Life Insurance Co.; the Hartford Group; the
National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, a group
representing insurance firms owned by policyholders; and AXA
Financial Inc., parent of Equitable Life Assurance Society and
brokerage firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc.