NC hunger striker protests bank merger as anti-poor FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Fri, 5 Jun 1998 00:10:49 -0700 (PDT)


http://search.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WAPO/19980526/V000065-052698-idx.html

                     
  HUNGER STRIKER PROTESTS BANK MERGER

  By Estes Thompson - Associated Press Writer - May 26, 1998


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A community activist started a hunger strike Tuesday
to protest the proposed merger between NationsBank and BankAmerica, saying
the larger bank would be more prone to overlook the needs of poor, rural
areas.

Stella Adams, executive director of the North Carolina Fair Housing
Coalition, said small communities already starved for cash to create
businesses will be left out by the merger.

``This thing is so big that the small communities are being lost in the
shuffle,'' she said. ``When you look at what states comprise this new
market, a significant part of it is rural and Southern, rural and poor.''

NationsBank and Bank of America have pledged $350 billion to community
reinvestment. But Ms. Adams said the money isn't targeted at the poorest
areas that need it most.

She wants the Federal Reserve to hold a hearing on the merger in North
Carolina and wants NationsBank to develop a plan to address community needs
in the state.

Until then, Ms. Adams said she will sip juice and water and decline food.
She said she will try to last 40 days and nights, or until a hearing is
held.

NationsBank and BankAmerica plan a $62.8 billion marriage to create a
coast-to-coast banking behemoth. The new company, which will keep the
BankAmerica name but be based in Charlotte, will have about 180,000
employees and offices in 22 states.

The merger needs federal regulatory approval.

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