Donning fake shark snouts, North Carolina community activists last week marched outside a NationsBank Corp. lending office to protest the banking company's planned merger with BankAmerica Corp.

Calling NationsBank officials "legalized loan sharks," activists said the Charlotte, N.C., company engages in unfair lending practices, misleads consumers about home equity and other financial products, and ignores the mortgage needs of many low-income borrowers.

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