Two more banks cut their prime rates on Friday to 5.75% from 6%.
United Missouri Bancshares of Kansas City and Harris Bankcorp were following Central Fidelity Bank of Richmond, Va., and Southwest Bank of St. Louis. which cut rates Wednesday.
"We want to compete aggressively for new business in the market," said Donald S. Hunt, president and chief operating officer of Harris, which is owned by Bank of Montreal.
Low interest rates and a slow economy were also factors in the bank's decision to cut the prime rate. said Mr. Hunt, who declined to elaborate.
Harris' total loan portfolio shrank to $7.2 billion at June 30 from $7.5 billion a year earlier.
United Missouri had $6.1 billion in assets at June 30, and $1.98 billion in loans.
Analysts expressed doubt the lower rates would lure. significant numbers of borrowers.
"We think it is more a lack of demand, and not rates that are keeping loan volumes as low as they are," said Sandra Flannigan, a Merrill Lynch analyst.