PEAPACK, N.J. -- Finn Caspersen can hardly hide his contempt for bankers.

So it's a pity that as chairman and chief executive of Beneficial Corp. he must rely on them so heavily. Banks supply his $13 billion-asset consumer finance company with short-term lines of credit, and in the late 1970s, when interest rates began to ratchet up, Mr. Caspersen felt an uncomfortable squeeze in his profit margins.

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