ATLANTA -- NCNB Corp. on Thursday announced a $1.1 million program with the NAACP to fund counseling centers for minority loan applicants over the next three years.

The announcement, part of NCNB's efforts to clear Community Reinvestment Act hurdles for its pending merger with C&S/Sovran Corp., was announced here by NCNB chairman Hugh L. McColl Jr., who is to be chief executive of the merged company called NationsBank.

W.F. Gibson, board chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Benjamin Hooks, executive director of the civil rights group, also were present.

Centers in Five Cities

NCNB agreed to fund the "community development resource centers" in five cities: Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Columbia, S.C.; Austin, Tex., and Richmond, Va.

Seventeen NAACP employees will work in the centers with NationsBank people.

The program will be evaluated for two years and, if successful, be expanded to other cities in the eight-state NationsBank territory.

Products and services will include consumer and loan counseling programs, loan packaging, education of high school students, corporate credit policy analysis, and minority business development.

Agreement with Acorn

In November, NCNB announced a similar, though smaller agreement with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a consumer advocacy group.

NCNB committed $125,000 to fund Acorn's counseling for low-income mortgage customers in Dallas, Houston, and Washington D.C.

Some smaller activist groups have criticized the NationsBank merger, charging that in the past NCNB has failed to satisfy community reinvestment requirements.

Support from the NAACP and Acorn, combined with a 10-year, $10 billion low-income lending commitment, seem to have cleared the way for Federal Reserve Board approval at the end of November.

Mr. Gibson revealed Thursday that NCNB had made informal commitments to increase its minority work force.

The NAACP has made such "fair share" agreements with other corporations, including Lumberton, N.C.-based Southern National Corp.

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