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Federal Savings and Loan Association
A federally chartered bank that specializes in taking deposits for checking and savings accounts, as well as making home mortgages. Savings and loan associations tend to be smaller than other banks and are more focused on the local communities in which they operate. It is sometimes (but not always) easier to obtain a loan from a savings and loan association because it may have better knowledge of the local market. They derive most of their funds from customer savings accounts, but they also generally have easy access to loans from the Federal Home Mortgage Banks. They are also known as thrifts. They are regulated by the Office of Thrift Supervision.