First Union Corp.'s plans to move its northeastern regional headquarters from Newark, N.J., to nearby Summit has sparked community opposition. The Newark city council voted earlier this month to direct the city's municipal finance department to consider withdrawing $250 million in municipal deposits from First Union.

The council is expected to render a final vote on the matter Oct. 10.

A First Union spokesman declined to comment on the controversy last week, but confirmed that the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank does plan to transfer 350 regional executives from Newark to Summit, which is about 10 miles west of Newark. Spokesman Paul Levine said First Union intends to retain its 15 branches in Newark, as well as 1,150 other employees.

First Union became the largest bank operating in Newark with the acquisition, earlier this year, of First Fidelity Bancorp., which had been based there.

Mayor Sharpe James and the Newark City Council have reportedly pledged to lobby various state agencies to withdraw deposits from First Union in protest of the move.

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