A community activist has started a hunger strike to protest the proposed merger between NationsBank Corp. and BankAmerica Corp., saying the larger bank would be more prone to overlook the needs of poor, rural areas.

Stella Adams, executive director of the North Carolina Fair Housing Coalition, said small communities already starved for cash to create businesses will be left out by the merger, according to Associated Press.

"This thing is so big that the small communities are being lost in the shuffle," she said. "When you look at what states comprise this new market, a significant part of it is rural and Southern, rural and poor."

NationsBank and BankAmerica have pledged $350 billion to community reinvestment. But Ms. Adams said the money is not targeted at the poorest areas that need it most. She wants the Federal Reserve to hold a hearing on the merger in North Carolina and wants NationsBank to develop a plan to address community needs in the state.

A NationsBank spokesman said the company has "a terrific community lending record that's been documented many times."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.