WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve has approved the applications of Norwest Corp. to acquire Copper Bancshares of New Mexico, LaPorte Bancorp of Hammond, Ind., and related subsidiaries.

The Fed said Minneapolis-based Norwest has total consolidated assets of $56.2 billion and operates 88 banks in 15 states. It is already the second-largest commercial banking organization in New Mexico, with deposits of $1.6 billion. Copper, the 26th-largest commercial bank in the state, does not compete directly with Norwest, the Fed said.

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