January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Nordstrom Banks On Banking

Offline and online fashion retailer Nordstrom Inc., Seattle, says it has received approval from the Office of Thrift Supervision on its application to establish a federal savings bank. The company filed its application with the OTS on November 18, 1998. Currently, Nordstrom owns and operates Nordstrom National Credit Bank, Scottsdale, Ariz. Nordstrom says it plans to convert that institution to a federal savings bank, to be named Nordstrom fsb, during the first quarter of 2000. The charter will enable the company to extend new payment product and service offerings to its customers, says Kevin Knight, chairman of Nordstrom National Credit Bank. He adds that the federal savings bank may offer financial products and services such as debit cards, stored value cards and credit cards secured by home equity, in addition to the private-label retail card, Nordstrom VISA and Nordstrom VISA Platinum credit cards it currently issues. A spokesperson for Nordstrom says that it has no specific plans to offer online banking services, although a Web site with an online credit card application will be part of the mix. Nordstrom operates 104 stores in 23 states, including 71 full-line stores, 26 Nordstrom's Racks, three Faconnable boutiques, two freestanding shoe stores and one clearance store.

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