When it comes to moving the prime rate, banks usually act in unison. And as First Fidelity Bancorp. has learned, those who dare to break ranks do so at their peril.

It's been almost four weeks since First Fidelity made headlines by lowering its prime to 5.5% from 6%. The Lawrenceville, N.J.-based company apparently was anticipating that the Federal Reserve would soon cut its discount rate from 3% to stimulate the economy.

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