BOCA RATON, Fla. — Hurricane Sandy battered banks’ branches, office buildings and employees in the Northeast. But some of its longest-lasting effects for the industry may be on banks’ customers, especially small businesses.

“This is really tough for small-business owners,” Ginger Siegel, an executive vice president of business banking at PNC Financial Services (PNC), said in an interview Friday. “It’s a really big issue.”

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