• Monetary Policy Tools – 1

    Bank Rate

    Bank rate is the rate at which the central bank provides money to the other financial institutions or banks. Bank rate enables the financial institutions (or banks) to borrow money from the central bank to fund any money need. Increase in bank rate leads to higher prime lending rate, the rate at which financial institutions lends money to other entities. So by increasing bank rate, the central bank can increase the interest rate in the market and reduce the demand. At the same time, as the lending becomes dearer, it reduces the lending by the financial institutions. Because of these two reasons bank rate hike is used to tame inflation.

    Repo Rate

    Repo rate (also known as Repurchase Rate) is the rate at which the Central Bank lends money to the banks on short term basis. Increase in Repo rate leads to higher short term borrowing rate for the banks which again leads to higher prime lending rate, the rate at which banks lends money to other customers or corporates. Increase in Repo rate mainly leads to higher interest rate on home loan, car loans, and corporate borrowings.

    The main effect is reduced demand of home, cars by the normal citizen and corporate loans by the Companies used for business expansion. It impacts the revenue and profit margin of the auto sector and housing sector companies aversely and makes the business and industrial expansion more expensive, thus reduce the industrial activity. That’s why increase in repo rate is very effective to control inflation. But at the same time, it hurts the economic and industrial growth severely. Central Bank’s job is to maintain the repo rate properly so that it won’t affect the economic growth activity.

    Reverse Repo Rate

    Reverse Repo rate is the rate at which banks deposit their excess money with the central bank for short term only. Central bank uses this tool to reduce liquidity in the market when there is high liquidity in the banking system. If the reverse repo rate is high then the banks will prefer to deposit the excess money with the central bank, thus reduce the liquidity in the system.

    The money deposited with the central bank is risk free, that’s why for high reverse repo rate banks always prefer to deposit the excess money with the central bank rather than lending it to the customers which involves significant risks. High reverse repo rate helps to reduce the lending by the banks and reduces the loan supply in the market. Lower loan supply decreases the lending for auto, home etc. which helps to tame inflation.

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