The merger of First Union Corp. and First Fidelity Bancorp stands apart from nearly all the other great bank deals of 1995 in one respect: It relies more on revenue enhancement than cost savings to achieve respectable returns for the acquirer's shareholders.

Rather than closing branches and laying off massive numbers of employees, First Union intends to achieve its gains by selling First Fidelity customers retail products such as its Evergreen family of mutual funds and CAP Account. The latter offers a consolidated statement for checking, money market, and brokerage accounts.

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