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Take This Hand

Banks are looking to find a nice entrepreneur and settle down.

This story appears in the August 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If there's a credit squeeze on lending to small businesses, or if competition for entrepreneurs' business has slackened, somebody forgot to tell the banks-particularly the big ones. "Boy, I don't feel that," says Joan Gulley, CEO of Business Banking for PNC Financial Services Group. "There might be pockets here or there where someone has pulled back, but it's still a very competitive environment."

So competitive, in fact, that big banks are falling over themselves to show that the small-business market is a top priority. Pittsburgh-based PNC recently announced plans to lend $12 billion to new and existing small-business customers over the next three years, an increase of about 10 percent per year. That announcement came on the heels of the bank's decision to drastically cut back corporate lending to reduce risk.

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