A merger between First Union Corp. and First Fidelity Bancorp would create more than just a banking Goliath. It would make the new company the dominant home equity lender east of the Mississippi.

The combined entity would be the second-largest home equity lender in the nation, with holdings of $4.2 billion at the end of 1994. Only BankAmerica Corp.'s $6.6 billion was larger.

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