FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: WEDNESDAY, May 29, 1996

NEW YORK--The Federal Reserve Bank of New York Wednesday approved the application by Center Bancorp, Inc., Union, N.J., to acquire Lehigh Savings Bank, S.L.A., Union. The transaction will be effected through the acquisition of a nonoperating interim bank. The Reserve Bank also approved that aspect of the proposal.

According to standard procedure, the proposal cannot be completed for 15 days, pending review by the Justice Department.

The Reserve bank acted under authority delegated by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.