Mellon Bank Corp. said it would close its small-business loan processing center in Philadelphia.

The center, which is to be shuttered in May, employs 50.

Mellon spokesman James Denver said 30 employees will be offered jobs in the banking company's Pittsburgh small-business loan processing center, which now employs 65. The rest will be offered other jobs in the company, he added.

Mr. Denver said savings from the closure would be significant, but he would not be specific about the amount.

The move was motivated by the company's desire for greater efficiencies. The consolidation would streamline small-business lending and reduce decision-making time, he said.

Mellon is No. 41 among bank lenders to small businesses nationwide, with $825 million of loans outstanding last June, according to Sheshunoff Information Services. This was a 39% decline from midyear 1996.

Mr. Denver said the drop resulted from the sale of $500 million of loans Mellon had acquired with an insurance premium finance company.

Based in Pittsburgh, Mellon has $45 billion of assets overall.

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