Dutch insurer

Aegon

(AEG) - Get Report

has applied for more than $1 billion in U.S. government support and may buy a small U.S. thrift company to be eligible for the funds, the company said Tuesday,

Reuters

reports.

"This is part of our strategy to ensure Aegon has the strongest capital position possible," said Aegon spokesman Greg Tucker, adding that the support would equate to about 1% of Aegon's $125 billion of U.S. assets, according to

Reuters

.

Aegon, which received 3 billion euros ($3.8 billion) in capital support from the Dutch government last month, was not experiencing liquidity problems, and would use the U.S. money for its U.S. operations, Tucker said.

The Dutch company, which owns U.S. life insurer Transamerica and generates three-quarters of its operating profit in the U.S., may buy a thrift company -- possibly Maryland-based Suburban Federal Savings Bank --to be eligible for the support, the spokesman said.

Aegon's plans are similar to those of insurers

Hartford

(HIG) - Get Report

,

Genworth

(GNW) - Get Report

and

Lincoln National

(LNC) - Get Report

EXCHANGE="NYSE" PRIMARY="NO"/> who are all planning to buy small savings and loans and apply for federal support.

Aegon expects a decision from the U.S. authorities before the end of the year, and any deal to buy a U.S. thrift company also would be concluded within that period, Tucker said.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.