FED OKS TAKEOVER OF NJ BROKERAGE

FED OKS TAKEOVER OF NJ BROKERAGE

FFB Inc., a bank holding company, may acquire insurance broker Broad and Lombardy under an application approved Monday by the Federal Reserve Board.

The board noted that it gave FFB Inc. of Newark, N.J., and Philadelphia approval Jan. 11 to acquire First Fidelity Bancorporation. First Fidelity acquired Newark-based Broad and Lombardy in 1979.Broad and Lombardy has been selling insurance as a unit of First Fidelity long enough to be grandfathered under Bank Holding Act provisions, the board said.

As long as Broad and Lombardy maintains its separate nonbank identity, it does not have to give up its insurance activity rights upon FFB's acquisition of First Fidelity.

The board also ruled that the Competitive Equality Banking Act March 1 moratorium against bank holding company expansion does not apply in the FFB case.

The board said that FFB's acquisition of Broad and Lombardy would not significantly affect competition in any relevant market.