Originally created 02/07/98

Telephone company plans to open S&L



WASHINGTON -- In a further blurring of the line between banking and commerce, federal regulators Friday gave long-distance telephone company Excel Communications Inc. permission to set up and operate a savings and loan.

The federally chartered thrift, to be called FirstExcel FSB, will have initial capital of $7 million, as required by the Office of Thrift Supervision as a condition of granting its approval.

The S&L will be based in Dallas, where the headquarters of Excel, the nation's fifth-largest long-distance carrier, are located.

Excel told the regulatory agency it plans initially to offer the thrift's services to its 3,000 employees and 450 sales representatives at 31 offices in 16 states.

Over time the S&L will take steps to diversify its customer base, including opening a branch that easily can be used by the general public, the OTS said in a statement.Chase denies 3,000-layoffs reportNEW YORK -- Chase Manhattan Corp., the nation's biggest bank, is looking for ways to make itself more efficient but denies a report that it plans to lay off more than 3,000 administrative jobs.

Chase spokesman John Stefans said Friday the process "will undoubtedly lead to some position eliminations," but added, "There is no target whatsoever."

The Wall Street Journal, citing unidentified people inside the bank, reported Friday that layoffs of one-third of Chase Manhattan's 9,400 employee administrative staff could be announced by the end of March.UPS dispute ends with final voteWASHINGTON -- The UPS labor dispute that sparked a 15-day strike last summer came to a quiet end Friday, when members in Pennsylvania gave final approval to a supplemental agreement affecting their territory.

The ratification means more than 185,000 Teamsters nationwide who work for United Parcel Service now will receive the wage increases and improved benefits in their new contract, retroactive to Aug. 1, 1997.