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Prime interest rate slips below 20% in Buffalo

The nation's 12th-largest commercial bank, Marine Midland of Buffalo, N.Y., cut two key interest rates to 19.5 percent Wednesday, raising hopes on Wall Street that other banks may follow. Marine Midland was the first major bank to cut its prime to 19.5 percent. The rate peaked in December at a record 21.5 percent, fell to 20.5 percent shortly after New Y ear's Day, and fell to 20 percent by Jan. 9.

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