WASHINGTON -- The comment periods have closed on the interstate branching applications by NationsBank Corp. and Firstd Fidelity Bancorp. without the expected Community Reinvestment Act protests being filed.

Officials at the Comptroller of the Currency's office feared the applications could be delayed by CRA complaints.

But the deadline for filing objections on the NationsBank application closed Thursday without any objections. The comment period expired a week earlier for First Fidelity's plan.

That means the way is clear for an OCC decision on the banks' plans.

Both NationsBank and First Fidelity want to take advantage of a loophole that allows banks to move their headquarters 30 miles or less -- even if the move crosses a state line.

For example, NationsBank wants to move the main office of its bank in Washington, D.C., 000t a few miles into Maryland. NationsBank then would operate the Washington bank as a branch of the Maryland bank.

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