LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. -- First Fidelity Bancorp. said the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency approved its application to consolidate the charter of First Fidelity Bank, New York, into its New Jersey-based lead bank.

The approval means the bank no longer has to file separate call reports or maintain two boards of directors.

Analysts say the cost savings are minuscule, but executives want to lower the bank's efficiency ratio from 57% to between 50% and 52% by 1996. "They're going for every nickel they can," said Merrill Ross of Wheat First, Butcher & Singer.

The consolidation will also allow First Fidelity customers to transact all business, including making deposits, in any bank branch in New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania.

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