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Of all the battles faced by treasurers and CFOs, obtaining credit is one of the most basic. And it’s a battle in which the ground has shifted a great deal in recent years as the banking industry underwent steady consolidation, eliminating many credit providers. As one bank gobbles up another, corporate credit groups lose members. When two banks that are both in a company’s lending group merge, the combined entity is unlikely to offer the company a commitment equal to what the banks had provided previously, says Steven Bavaria, head of Standard & Poor’s Corp.’s loan rating business. “It’s always less, sometimes quite a bit less.”

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