European American Bank said Tuesday it had acquired a Manhattan-based equipment leasing company, called Wasco Funding Corp., for $106 million.

EAB, which is the Uniondale, N.Y.-based unit of the Dutch bank ABN Amro, said the purchase would help the bank develop its own leasing operation.

Formerly a part of CoreStates New Jersey National Bank, Wasco runs its own credit, billing, and collections departments and provides lease financing to small and medium-size companies. It has approximately $100 million in leasing assets on its books, according to Ira Z. Romoff, senior vice president and head of small-business lending at European American Bank.

Banks that engage in leasing usually purchase the equipment and then rent it out to a company for three to live years.

EAB finances leasing companies, but until now has not provided any leasing on its own.

Bank officials said Wasco has historically been profitable but declined to disclose its earnings.

The leasing company has 21 employees and 5,000 customers, principally in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.

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