Consolidation makes it hard for small banks to hold onto share in any market. In small-business lending, it’s that much harder when credit card debt — issued mostly by big banks — is the only reliable source of volume.

Among banks with more than $10 billion of assets, growth in business loans with original principal balances of $100,000 or less (excluding those backed by real estate) lost momentum during the recession. But credit extended through such loans — generally representing borrowing on small-business credit cards — has been roughly steady in a range of $84 billion to $88 billion since the third quarter of 2010. (The following graphic shows market share for small business loans by bank asset-size category and other data on small business loans. Interactive controls are described in the captions. Text continues below.)

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