A year and a half after Centura Banks Inc. of Rocky Mount, N.C., acquired a mutual savings bank in a merger-conversion, seven former depositors of the thrift are trying to have the deal overturned.

The depositors, who had filed suit against the $4.2 billion-asset Centura and the directors of the acquired First Savings Bank last spring, received a boost recently when a superior court judge ruled that a hearing will be held for the plaintiffs to voice their complaints on their treatment by the state's thrift regulator.

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