WASHINGTON -- Two leading Democrats fired off a three-page letter to the Federal Reserve Board last week demanding to know why it allowed a Florida bank to expand despite a fair-lending probe.

"The public, as well as the banking industry, needs to know whether the board will stand with other agencies in enforcing the law and eliminating lending discrimination," wrote House Banking Committee Chairman Henry B. Gonzalez and Joseph P. Kennedy 2d, D-Mass.

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