NEW YORK — Chemical Bank, one of the nation's largest banks, today raised its prime lending rate another half percentage point to 9.75%, the second increase in a week.
The latest increase--the sixth so far this year--comes one week after major banks raised the key lending rate a half percentage point to 9.25%. No other bank immediately followed Chemical's move today. Chemical's prime is now at its highest level since the summer of 1985. The prime is the benchmark used by banks to set interest rates on a variety of corporate and consumer loans, including mortgages and home equity loans.