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

(Reuters) - 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.

Reporting by Dan Wilchins in New York; Editing by Savio D’Souza

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