WASHINGTON - BankAmerica Corp. reported last week that it had boosted Community Reinvestment Act-related lending by nearly 10%, to $5.9 billion, in 1994.

The community development division of the company's Bank of America unit loaned $200 million to help finance 5,500 "low- and very low-income households" in the western United States.

Bank of America made $4.2 billion of CRA-related loans in California, nearly half of which went to low- and moderate-income people in low-income census tracts.

The bank also made nearly $1.4 billion of small business loans through a variety of programs.

"We made significant progress in our CRA lending programs during 1994, in spite of a challenging interest-rate environment," BankAmerica chairman Richard Rosenberg said in a prepared statement. "Lending in lower-income areas has become one of our fastest-growing segments, demonstrating that well-structured programs providing wider access to credit for low-income borrowers can produce significant tangible results."

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