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[NEW YORK] Major US banks raised their prime rates, a benchmark for a wide range of consumer and commercial loans, for the first time since 2006 on Wednesday, following a rate hike from the Federal Reserve.
Banks including Wells Fargo & Co, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America Corp raised their prime rates to 3.5 per cent from 3.25 per cent.
The Fed raised the target for its main short-term rate to a range of 0.25 to 0.50 per cent, from a range of 0 to 0.25 per cent.
A higher prime rate will translate to higher interest rates on a wide range of loans that are keyed off the rate, including small business loans and some credit card loans.
Lending out at slightly higher rates could give a small boost to bank earnings in the coming quarters.