Activists Sue Fed Over NationsBank/Boatmen's

WASHINGTON - Two community groups sued the Federal Reserve Board on Tuesday for approving NationsBank Corp.'s acquisition of Boatmen's Bancshares.

Bronx, N.Y.-based Inner City Press/Community on the Move and the New Mexico Alliance have asked the federal appeals court in Denver to void the merger. They said the Fed ignored evidence that the deal would reduce competition in several states.

Separately, the two groups asked the Fed on Dec. 22 to reconsider the Dec. 16 approval.

NationsBank chief financial officer James H. Hance Jr. responded to the Fed filing on Tuesday, saying in an affidavit that a delay in the Jan. 7 merger would cost the companies $36 million a month and result in "operational disruptions" that could inconvenience consumers.

Fed Studying Consumer Finance and Privacy

WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve Board on Tuesday asked for help in determining how much consumer financial data should be publicly available.

The Fed said it will use the responses to draft a congressionally ordered survey on privacy issues.

The Fed specifically wants to know:

*What type of information is currently available on consumers?

*How are financial documents obtained?

*Are there rules or guidelines that govern the sale of consumer financial information?

*How have consumer data been used for illegal purposes?

*Which consumer data are most important in making credit decisions?

*How much money do companies lose from people who fraudulently use consumer financial data?

*What laws are needed to protect these data?

Comments are due Jan. 31.

Ex-BT Official Banned; Insider Trading Cited

WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve Board has banned from banking a former Bankers Trust New York Corp. official, saying he had engaged in insider trading.

In a Dec. 23 order, the Fed said Nir Kantor used confidential information gathered while working at BT Securities Corp. to trade securities for personal gain.

Mr. Kantor also may not serve on the board or vote as a stockholder of any financial institution, the Fed said.

In a settlement, Mr. Kantor agreed to the order but did not admit to any wrongdoing.

Financial Directory for Development Projects

WASHINGTON - Hoping to help banks earn Community Reinvestment Act credit, the Federal Reserve Board has published a directory of more than 150 development projects being financed by financial institutions.

The directory includes information on the amount of capital initially invested, a description of the project, and contact names of bankers involved with the investment.

To obtain a copy of the directory, contact the Fed at 202-452-3378.

- Compiled by Jaret Seiberg

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