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Bank Rate

Bank Rate

What Is a Bank Rate?

A bank rate is the interest rate at which a country's central bank loans money to domestic banks, frequently as exceptionally short-term loans. Dealing with the bank rate is a method by which central banks influence economic activity. Lower bank rates can assist with growing the economy by bringing down the cost of funds for borrowers, and higher bank rates help to reign in the economy when inflation is higher than wanted.

How Bank Rates Work

The bank rate in the United States is frequently alluded to as the discount rate. In the United States, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System sets the discount rate as well as the reserve requirements for banks.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) trades Treasury securities to supply control the money. Together, the discount rate, the value of Treasury bonds, and reserve requirements tremendously affect the economy. The management of the money supply in this way is alluded to as monetary policy

Types of Bank Rates

Banks borrow money from the Federal Reserve to meet reserve requirements. The Fed offers three types of credit to borrowing banks: primary, secondary, and seasonal. Banks must present specific documentation as indicated by the type of credit extended and must demonstrate they have adequate collateral to secure the loan.

Primary Credit

Primary credit is issued to commercial banks with strong financial positions. There are no limitations on what the loan can be utilized for, and the main requirement for borrowing funds is to affirm the amount required and loan repayment terms.

Secondary Credit

Secondary credit is issued to commercial banks that don't fit the bill for primary credit. Since these institutions are not as sound, the rate is higher than the primary credit rate. The Fed forces limitations on use and requires more documentation before giving credit. For example, the justification for borrowing the funds and a summary of the bank's financial position are required, and loans are issued for a short-term, frequently overnight.

Seasonal Credit

As the name proposes, seasonal credit is issued to banks that experience seasonal changes in liquidity and reserves. These banks must lay out a seasonal qualification with their individual Reserve Bank and have the option to show that these swings are recurring. Not at all like primary and secondary credit rates, seasonal rates depend on market rates.

Bank Rate versus Overnight Rate

The discount rate, or bank rate, is some of the time mistook for the overnight rate. While the bank rate alludes to the rate the central bank charges banks to borrow funds, the overnight rate — additionally alluded to as the federal funds rate — alludes to the rate banks charge each other when they borrow funds among themselves. Banks borrow money from one another to cover lacks in their reserves.

The bank rate is important since commercial banks use it as a basis for what they will ultimately charge their customers for loans.

Banks are required to have a certain percentage of their deposits close by as reserves. On the off chance that they need more cash by the day's end to fulfill their reserve requirements, they borrow it from one more bank at an overnight rate. Assuming the discount rate falls below the overnight rate, banks commonly go to the central bank, as opposed to one another, to borrow funds. Thus, the discount rate can possibly push the overnight rate up or down.

As the bank rate meaningfully affects the overnight rate, it likewise influences consumer lending rates. Banks charge their best, most creditworthy customers a rate that is extremely close to the overnight rate, and they charge their different customers a rate that is a bit higher.

For instance, assuming the bank rate is 0.75%, banks are probably going to charge their customers generally low-interest rates. Conversely, in the event that the discount rate is 12% or a correspondingly high rate, banks will charge borrowers similarly higher interest rates.

Illustration of Bank Rates

A bank rate is the interest rate a country's central bank charges other domestic banks to borrow funds. Nations change their bank rates to grow or choke a country's money supply in response to economic changes.

In the United States, the discount rate has stayed unchanged at 0.25% since March 15, 2020. In response to the global financial crisis, the Fed brought down the rate by 100 basis points. The principal goal was to settle prices, forestall ascends in unemployment, and energize the utilization of credit among families and organizations.

Among all nations, Switzerland reports the most minimal bank rate of - 0.750%, and Turkey — known for having high inflation — has the highest at 19%.


The highest United States discount rate at any point declared (June 1981).

The Bottom Line

A bank rate is the interest rate a country's central bank charges to its domestic banks to borrow money. The rates central banks charge are set to balance out the economy. In the United States, the Federal Reserve System's Board of Governors set the bank rate, otherwise called the discount rate.

Banks request loans from the central bank to meet reserve requirements and keep up with liquidity. The Federal Reserve issues three types of credit as indicated by the financial position of the bank and their requirements. Rather than the bank rate, the overnight rate is the interest rate individual banks charge each other to borrow money.

In response to the global crisis, numerous central banks have changed their bank rates to animate and settle the economy. In March 2021, the United States answered by bringing its discount rate down to 0.25%.


  • The Federal Reserve might increase or diminish the discount rate to dial back or animate the economy, individually.
  • The bank rate is the interest rated charged by a country's central bank for borrowed funds.
  • There are three types of credit issued by the Federal Reserve to banks: primary credit, secondary credit, and seasonal credit.
  • As opposed to the bank rate, the overnight rate is the interest rate charged by banks loaning funds to one another.
  • The Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System set the bank rate.


On the off chance that the Fed Lowers the Federal Funds Rate, What Happens to Savings Accounts?

The federal funds rate is the interest rate banks charge each other to borrow funds, though the discount or bank rate is the rate the Federal Reserve charges commercial banks to borrow funds. A brought discount rate connects down to bring down rates paid on savings accounts. For laid out accounts with fixed rates, the brought down discount rate makes no difference.

What Happens When the Central Bank Increases the Discount Rate?

To counter inflation, the Central bank might increase the discount rate. At the point when increased, the cost to borrow funds increases. Thusly, disposable salaries decline, it becomes challenging to borrow money to purchase homes and cars, and consumer spending diminishes.

What Interest Rate Does a Commercial Bank Pay When It Borrows From the Fed?

The interest rate a commercial bank pays when it borrows from the Fed relies upon the type of credit extended to the bank. Assuming issued primary credit, the interest rate is the discount rate. Banks that don't fit the bill for primary credit might be offered secondary credit, which has a higher interest rate than the discount rate. Seasonal credit rates change with the market and are tied to it.