Mergers slowed the growth of small-business lending among the nation's largest banks in the first half of the year, according to an American Banker survey.

The small-business portfolios of the top 50 banking institutions grew by only 2.18%, to $91.8 billion, in the year that ended June 30. Outstandings at all banking companies, meanwhile, grew 5.48%, to $184.9 billion, the survey found.

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