Seeking to stop the merger of NationsBank Corp. and BankAmerica Corp., the Greenlining Institute asked the Federal Reserve Board to ignore the banks' $350 billion Community Reinvestment Act pledge.

The San Francisco-based group noted that Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan told the Senate Banking Committee last week that community organizations- rather than the central bank-should enforce CRA pledges by banks.

Because the $350 billion pledge does not include adequate means for activists to enforce the agreement, the Fed should not consider it when deciding whether to approve the $60 billion deal, Greenlining argued in a July 28 letter to the Fed.

"It would be poor public policy for the Federal Reserve to consider NationsBank's $350 billion pledge unless it was demonstrated that independent, effective, statewide, or regional community groups experienced in CRA were prepared to and capable of enforcing a pledge of such magnitude," the group wrote.

A NationsBank spokesman declined to comment.

-Jaret Seiberg

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