Lower interest rates should help make savings-and-loans more attractive to investors. At least that's what Kim Fletcher, chairman of Home Federal Savings and Loan Association in San Diego, hopes. Early next month, Home Federal will become the largest federally chartered S&L to go public, offering its stock on the over-the-counter market. It's the eighth-largest S&L in the United States.
''Quite a few'' other S&Ls will follow Home Federal into the public markets in the next several months, Mr. Fletcher said. For Home Federal, and the other S&Ls, the additional capital raised in the public offerings ''provides more flexibility,'' he said. ''It gives us the capital we need to provide more service, increase our branch network, offer new products, and compete with other financial institutions.''
One area in which Mr. Fletcher is eager to compete is commercial lending. Last year's banking act permits S&Ls to lend up to 5 percent of their assets to commercial enterprises in 1983, and 10 percent next year. For Home Federal, with over $6 billion in assets, that means $300 million can be invested commercially this year. The stock offering is expected to bring in $225 million to $304 million.