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Taxpayers back PNC’s National City play

Acquisition to make PNC fifth-largest bank

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The U.S. Treasury will take a $7.7 billion stake in PNC Financial Services Group Inc. to facilitate its purchase of troubled Cleveland, Ohio-based National City Corp.Pittsburgh-based PNC is among the first regional banks to take advantage of the $250 billion the Treasury has earmarked to "recapitalize" banks by buying nonvoting preferred shares under the $700 billion Trouble Asset Repurchase Program, or TARP. Half of the money has already been allocated to nine of the nation's biggest banks (see Inman News story).At a hearing Thursday, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., told Bush administration officials that he was concerned about reports that banks might use the money to fund acquisitions, rather than boost lending to businesses and consumers (see story).Another regional bank, Georgia's SunTrust Banks Inc., has authorized the sale of $1.6 billion to $4.9 billion in preferred shares to the U.S. Treasury, SunTrust officials said in announcing a 25 per...