Eliminating the final regulatory hurdle to creation of the country's largest bank, the New York State Banking Department gave Chemical Banking Corp. permission Thursday to acquire Chase Manhattan Corp.

Also on Thursday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency gave Chase an "outstanding" Community Reinvestment Act rating. The score, an improvement from the "satisfactory" Chase got in 1993, came just days after community activists criticized the Federal Reserve Board for approving the deal before the Comptroller's office had completed its exam.

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