CIT Group is back. The small and medium-sized businesses lender, launched CIT Real Estate Finance this week to again originate and underwrite commercial real estate loans. The company will focus on senior secured real estate transactions within the cities of Boston, New York City and Washington. The move pulls CIT back into the structured-finance lending space, ending a volatile three-year period that started with the company's voluntary bankruptcy reorganization filing in 2009. CIT appointed executive vice president Matthew Galligan to lead the new group. "CIT Real Estate Finance will offer commercial real estate loans to top-tier sponsors and developers in major cities we know well," Galligan said. "We will provide stabilized, value-add and construction loans in excess of $20 million to highly experienced and well-capitalized developers in the office, retail, industrial and multifamily rental sectors."

CIT is a bank holding company with more than $34 billion in financing and assets. The company recently posted a third-quarter loss of $16 million, or 8 cents per share, on Tuesday. That is down from a profit of $116 million, or 58 cents a share, last year.

The Utah Department of Financial Institutions and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. issued cease and desist orders against CIT Bank in July 2009, forbidding the lender from paying dividends and from extending credit to its parent company or any affiliate of the bank. It also was prevented from engaging in "any covered transaction" with its parent company.

The premise behind those orders was to prevent the bank from buoying its troubled corporate parent, CIT. The cease and desist order was finally pulled back earlier this year, allowing CIT to jump back into the space.

Write to Kerri Panchuk.