What is Bank Rate?

Bank Rate refers to the official interest rate at which RBI will provide loans to the banking system which includes commercial / cooperative banks, development banks etc. Such loans are given out either by direct lending or by rediscounting (buying back) the bills of commercial banks and treasury bills. Thus, bank rate is also known as discount rate. Bank rate is used as a signal by the RBI to the commercial banks on RBI’s thinking of what the interest rates should be.

Impact of Bank Rate

When RBI increases the bank rate, the cost of borrowing for banks rises and this credit volume gets reduced leading to decline in supply of money. Thus, increase in Bank rate reflects tightening of RBI monetary policy.

Difference between Bank Rate and Repo Rate

Bank Rate and Repo Rate seem to be similar terms because in both of them RBI lends to the banks. However, Repo Rate is a short-term measure and it refers to short-term loans and used for controlling the amount of money in the market. On the other hand, Bank Rate is a long-term measure and is governed by the long-term monetary policies of the RBI. In broader term, bank rate is the rate of interest which a central bank charges on the loans and advances that it extends to commercial banks and other financial intermediaries. RBI uses this tool to control the money supply.

Key RBI Policy Rates and Ratio – February 2017
Current Bank Rate 6.75%
Current Repo Rate 6.25%
Current Reverse Repo rate 5.75%
Current Marginal Standing Facility Rate 6.75%
Current Cash Reserve Ratio 4%
Current Statutory Liquidity Ratio 20.50%
Last Updated on 7-2-2017

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