Bank lending to businesses soared in 1994, reflecting strong corporate demand and a revival in commercial real estate finance.

Bankers tied the lending surge, evident in a newly expanded annual report by American Banker on business lending (see tables on pages 21 through 29), to the need for short-term loans at floating rates as interest rates rose during the year. Now that rates are coming back down, some observers warned that more banks will leap into riskier loans to make up for lost volume.

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