Community banks in the Northeast aren't sure what to expect from their new competitor, First Union Corp., but they're hoping to rake in a pile of new customers disenchanted by First Fidelity Bancorp.'s merger with the Charlotte, N.C., giant.

"There'll be a competitor that has enormous resources and at the moment we don't really know what First Union offers," said Robert M. Meyer, president and chief executive of Midland Bank and Trust Co. in Paramus, N.J. "On the other side of it, every time there's been a rather substantial merger, customers get lost for a while and we tend to benefit."

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