Banks are rolling out the red carpet to welcome midsize companies to a club that until recently was restricted to the biggest corporations: the capital markets.

First Union Corp. enlarged its capital markets group by 20% to 1,800 in 1996 and will add another 11% this year to work with more midsize companies. SunTrust Banks Inc. also increased its group by 46%, to 142 bankers in 1996. And Wachovia Corp. is projecting 50% growth in 1997 revenue from deals for middle-market companies.

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