The Treasury Department awarded nearly $28 million Monday to banks for development projects in economically troubled areas.

"More thrifts and more banks than ever before are investing in their communities," Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin told reporters at a press conference called to unveil $75 million of awards by the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.

Chosen from among 104 applicants, 79 banks and thrifts received $27.9 million for loans, investments, and other assistance to authorized community development organizations. Recipients included Bank of America, Chase Manhattan Bank, LaSalle Bank in Chicago, Androscoggin Savings Bank in Lewiston, Maine, and Bank of Yazoo City, Miss.

The balance of the awards included $44.3 million for 42 community development loan funds and organizations giving financial services to low- income and other underserved groups, as well as nearly $3 million in technical assistance grants to 70 of these community entities.

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