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Prime rate slips to 19 1/2% at two New York banks

Two New York banks -- Marine Midland Bank and UMB Bank & Trust Company, a subsidiary of United Mizrahi Bank of Tel Aviv -- lowered their prime rate Wednesday to 19 1/2 percent from 20 percent.

A spokesman for UMB said it felt the action "is warranted because of a lower cost of funds."

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The Federal Reserve's report last Friday that growth of the money supply has slowed gave another encouraging signal that the Fed may at least be able to maintain the Fed funds at the curre nt levels.