Keycorp, gearing up to become a bigger national force in consumer finance, has formed a subsidiary that will house all the lending businesses that are outside its branch system.

The unit, Key Bank USA, will have about $20 billion in assets and is expected to grow rapidly as it pushes into some new areas of lending. In particular, the company is planning a push into the high-margin business of making auto loans and home equity loans to people with blemished credit records.

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