The North Carolina Bankers Association voted Friday against merging with the Community Bankers Association of North Carolina, leading the incoming chairman of the bankers group to quit.

Robert R. Mauldin, chairman and chief executive of Centura Banks Inc., Rocky Mount, N.C., resigned in frustration.

The two trade associations have considered combining for nearly two years. The community bankers' group approved the plan in December. But the North Carolina Bankers voted against it because small banks would get just as must influence over the merged association's operations as larger banks.

Lawrence Kimbrough, president and chief executive of First Charter Corp., Concord, N.C., and chairman of the bankers association, said he still backs the marriage, but admitted the vote was not close. "A merger is imminently sensible, both of us have constituencies that are shrinking," he said.

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