Southern National Corp. has gotten NAACP officials to drop their challenge of a South Carolina bank merger by signing a ``Fair Share Agreement' contract with the NAACP.

Under the contract, Southern National has agreed to expand employment and business opportunities for minorities.The Lumberton-based bank also signed another agreement reaffirming it will comply with the federal Community Reinvestment Act, which requires banks to invest money in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods in which they do business.

NAACP officials from North Carolina and South Carolina had filed a protest with federal regulators against Southern National's proposed acquisition of NBSC Corp., a Sumter, S.C., bank on the grounds that Southern National and NBSC had not adequately complied with the Community Reinvestment Act.

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