N.Y. Mayor Backs Merger

New York Mayor David Dinkins endorsed the pending merger of Chemical Banking Corp. and Manufacturers Hanover Corp. on Thursday, giving the companies ammunition against activists who may oppose the deal.

Mr. Dinkins said at a press conference that the banks had agreed to improve their service to the city's low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. He noted their promise to double the size of a branch in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a low-income Brooklyn neighborhood that has come to symbolize urban decay.

"I promise to continue our work to encourage New York City banks ... to make more loans to persons and families of color," Mr. Dinkins said.

The endorsement, given in front of Chemical vice chairman William Turner and Hanover vice chairman Edward Miller, came a day after Chemical had announced that it won the highest rating from the New York Fed for its community reinvestment activities.

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