When Connecticut entrepreneur Bill Lytle began seeking a loan for his start-up manufacturing business, he wanted to build a long-term relationship with a bank based in New England.

Mr. Lytle said he submitted his business plan and financial information last August to two large regional banks and a local one. The bankers promised to respond but did not return his telephone calls and left him waiting for weeks. That is when Mr. Lytle turned to a local branch of First Union National Bank.

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