Bank of America Corp. said Wednesday that it had loaned $19.4 billion to small and midsize businesses in the first quarter.

This volume was 18% more than the year earlier, the $2.3 trillion-asset Charlotte banking company said in a press release. Bank of America said it has committed itself to lend $86.4 billion to small and midsize businesses this year, or roughly 6% more than in 2009.

Brian Moynihan, the company's chief executive, said in a press release that the commitment shows that "small and medium-sized businesses are crucial jobs providers in our economy. We are making every good loan we can make."

Bank of America also said that it had spent more than $1 billion last year to buy products and services from small and midsize companies.

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