Major U.S. banks raise prime rates after Fed rate hike

Major U.S. 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 (WFC.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) raised their prime rates to 3.5 percent from 3.25 percent.

The Fed raised the target for its main short-term rate to a range of 0.25 to 0.50 percent, from a range of 0 to 0.25 percent.

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.

[Source:- REAUTERS]