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Discover Financial Services, which became a bank holding company last month to boost liquidity, received preliminary approval to participate in the Treasury Department's Capital Purchase Program.

The Treasury granted the approval Jan. 14, "subject to standard closing conditions," the Riverwoods, Ill., card company said in a securities filing Friday.

Discover has said it is seeking $1.2 billion from the program. In November it said it was unlikely to apply for bank holding company status, but it reversed course last month, and the Federal Reserve approved its application to become a bank holding company Dec. 19.

The company's current capital levels "satisfy the Federal Reserve definition of a 'well-capitalized' bank holding company," Discover said in the filing Friday. "Receipt of funds under the program would enhance existing capital levels."

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