Area Banks Follow Nationals in Cutting Prime Lending Rate

Article excerpt

Three of Oklahoma's largest banks trimmed their prime lending rates Monday following the move by the nation's largest banks to lower their prime lending rates half a percentage point to 11 percent.

Citibank, the nation's largest bank, was the first to announce it had lowered its prime lending rate. Several other big banks, including Chase Manhattan Bank, Morgan Guaranty Trust Co., Chemical Bank, Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. and Bankers Trust Co., quickly followed suit.

Monday's decline was the first drop in the prime rate - used as a base for a variety of other interest rates, including those on consumer loans - since Feb. 2, 1988. On that day, the prime fell 0.25 percentage points to 8.5 percent, but then began a climb that ended Monday.

The latest decline places the prime rate back at the level it reached on Feb. 10 of this year, when it rose to 11 percent from 10.5 percent. Two weeks later, on Feb. 24, it rose another 0.5 percentage points to 11.5 percent, and remained at that level until Monday.

- First Interstate Bank of Oklahoma NA, Oklahoma City's second largest banks with assets of $1 billion, lowered its prime lending rate to 11 percent.

- Founders Bank & Trust Co., the metro area's fourth largest bank at $250.66 million in assets, lowered its local prime rate to 12 percent from 12.5 percent, said Daniel W. Thompson, the bank's chief financial officer and executive vice president.

- Oklahoma City-based BancFirst's downtown office lends interest-sensitive loans and large commercial loans at rates almost totally dependent on New York City prime rates, said David Rainbolt, chief financial officer. Those loans' rates change automatically, he said.

The bank's asset-liability committee is meeting this morning to review the local prime rates for the remainder of the bank's offices, Rainbolt said.

BancFirst, with assets of $670 million, is Oklahoma City's largest bank. …