The officials of online auction site eBay and its payments unit PayPal are reportedly in talks over the possibility of applying for a limited banking charter, Dow Jones/Associated Press claims.

If successful, the charter would reduce PayPal’s dependency on partnerships with other finance firms.

However, eBay was hit with an obstacle in January 2007, when the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation extended its freeze for another year on all applications for deposit insurance from commercial parent companies. Furthermore, the freeze could also cause more problems for the online auction powerhouse when attempting to obtain an industrial loan corporation (ILC) charter.

We’ve made no announcements or talked publicly about plans to change, said Amanda Pires, a spokeswoman for PayPal, cited in Dow Jones/Associated Press. In the industry, we are always looking at ways to expand our business, not just in this area, but in many different areas.

The news report also stated that the FDIC has confirmed that eBay had not yet submitted an application for deposit insurance.