Like French cooking for amateur chefs, asset-based lending has typically carried a "don't-try -this-at-home" caution for community and midsized banks.

Lacking the scale and expertise to make loans collateralized by inventory and accounts receivable, small institutions have long ceded the asset-based lending business to larger banks, such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo and BB&T, and nonbank lenders like GE Capital and CIT.

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