WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve Board's inspector general is investigating an allegation that members of the central bank's staff informed Union Planters Corp. officials in advance that a pending merger would be approved.

The investigation centers on why chairman Benjamin W. Rawlins purchased more than 15,000 shares of Union Planters stock last November immediately before the Fed approved the Memphis bank's purchase of Grenada Sunburst System of Grenada, Miss.

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