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It could be that cracking the insular South Jersey banking community will be one of the main challenges facing Boston-based Fleet Financial Group following its acquisition of National Westminster Bancorp Inc. last month.
Fleet, which purchased NatWest on May 1, now has a total of 1,200 branches in seven states and assets of $90 billion.
Prior to the acquisition Fleet had no presence in the state. But through the deal Fleet absorbed NatWest's 185 branches located primarily in the northern part of the state.
In South Jersey Fleet gained 39 NatWest branches, with a majority of them in Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties. Prior to its sale to Fleet, NatWest …