Citigroup Inc.'s latest effort to increase its lending will be an exercise in thinking small.

The bank said last week that it is partnering with the Enterprise Community Loan Fund, a community development organization, to invest $30 million in small businesses. That amount is a relative drop in the bucket for the third-largest bank by assets, which earned $1.17 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011 alone — to the disappointment of investors.

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