WASHINGTON - To avert opposition to their merger, the California subsidiaries of two huge Japanese banks agreed Wednesday to lend $11.25 billion over the next 10 years under the Community Reinvestment Act.

Union Bank and Bank of California pledged to loan 4.5% of their combined $25 billion in assets every year from 1996 through 2006 for low-income housing, small businesses, and inner-city economic development projects.

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