LONDON -- United Kingdom lenders cut their base lending rates Tuesday to 5.5% from 6.0%, in line with an easing of credit policy by the Bank of England.

The first institution to announce a rate cut was Citibank, followed quickly by Midland Bank PLC and Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC.

Other lenders are expected to follow suit, although the Halifax Building Society said it would wait until after the annual U.K. budget statement Nov. 30 to make a decision on any rate adjustment.

U.K. markets have long been speculating on prospects for an easing of government credit policy, in line with the recent downward trend of continental European rates, progress at reducing inflation, and the approach of the annual budget statement.

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