N.Y. Official Pans Chemical-Hanover Branch Closings

New York City's consumer affairs commissioner, Mark Green, criticized plans by Chemical Banking Corp. and Manufacturers Hanover Corp. to close 70 branches after they merge.

He released a report on Thursday alleging that 15 of the planned closings will measurably inconvenience consumers or reduce competition. Two of the closings, he said, "could significantly hurt local consumers."

Mr. Green said he will not oppose the merger. But his report encouraged the new Chemical to help form two credit unions in poor neighborhoods - including one on the site of Harlem's failed Freedom National Bank.

John Stefans, a Hanover spokesman, said the New York banks "will end up making some kind of dollar commitment." Other merger partners have announced big commitments. On Thursday, BankAmerica Corp. and Security Pacific Corp. upped their community lending pledge from $9 billion to $12 billion. In August, NCNB Corp. and C&S/Sovran Corp. pledged $10 billion.

Next week, the Federal Reserve Board will release data on banks' mortgage lending that show high rates of loan rejections for blacks and Hispanics.

Chase Manhattan Corp. on Thursday pledged to commit $100 million to home mortgage lending in low- and middle-income New York City communities by the end of 1993.

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