WASHINGTON -- The banking industry scored a victory against the Department of Justice on Tuesday when the comptroller of the currency agreed to let Barnett Banks Inc. complete a merger while facing charges of lending discrimination.

The comptroller's office gave Barnett the go-ahead to acquire 34 Florida branches of Glendale Federal Bank, even though Justice is pursuing charges of discrimination by Barnett. The comptroller's office became the second banking agency to back the deal, following the Federal Reserve.

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