NEW YORK — Jeffrey M. Peek plans to step down as CIT Group Inc.'s chairman and chief executive at the end of the year, underlining the uncertainty facing the beleaguered commercial lender as it struggles to avert bankruptcy.

The resignation doesn't come as a major surprise since a group of bondholders began asserting more power at the nearly century-old commercial lender. Those investors, which include Silver Point Capital LP and Oaktree Capital Management LP, pumped $3 billion into CIT in July and immediately seized influence over the company's board.

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