Taking a step toward interstate branching, BankAmerica Corp. announced plans this week to merge its Washington and Idaho bank units.

The merger, which is expected to be completed by yearend, woould give BankAmerica its first single bank unit operating branches in more than one state. Spokeswoman Betty Riess said the company currently has separate banks or thrifts for each of the 10 states in which it has branch operations.

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