Business loans declined 9% in early April compared with late March, which some attribute to continued uncertainty about health care, fear of another downturn and companies' rush to borrow at the end of 2012. Consumer lending also has been slower this year, contributing to pressure on banks. However, Wells Fargo Chief Financial Officer Timothy Sloan says, "I wouldn't jump to any conclusions about loan growth in the industry in the first quarter," because that quarter generally is slower. He says Q4 was "extremely high."

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