What is Cash Reserve Ratio CRR? Know about Repo Rate and Reverse Repo Rate for UPSC Exam

The term is used by the Indian Government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act mandates that every commercial bank must keep with their demand as well as time deposits as liquid assets. Repo rate can be defined as an amount of interest that is charged by the Reserve Bank of India while lending funds to the commercial banks. The word ‘Repo’ technically stands for ‘Repurchasing Option’ or ‘Repurchase Agreement’. Both the parties are required to sign an agreement of repurchasing which will state the repurchasing of the securities on a specific date at a predetermined price. RBI maintains a balance in the market by employing repo rate and reverse repo rate.

The SRF is designed to dampen upward pressures in repo markets that may spillover to the fed funds market. In addition to these operations, the New York Fed executes repo and reverse repo transactions with its foreign and international monetary authorities (FIMA) customers. Additional information on pooled foreign overnight reverse repo transactions and the standing FIMA Repo Facility is available here. In the U.S., standard and reverse repurchase agreements are the most commonly used instruments of open market operations for the Federal Reserve. The value of the collateral is generally greater than the purchase price of the securities.

Monetary Policy Report – October 2023

Later, the central bank will buy back the securities, returning money to the system. Reverse repos are commonly used by businesses like lending institutions or investors to access short-term capital when facing cash flow issues. In essence, the borrower sells a business asset, equipment, or even shares in its company.

In a globalized economic order, interconnected financial markets veritably ensure that most countries’ monetary policies mirror each others’. It is inconceivable (though not impossible) to envisage a situation where policy rates in India would move in the opposite direction to those in the U.S. or the UK. It is mandated that commercial banks have to maintain this reserve requirement in the form of liquid cash, gold reserves, government bonds and other RBI approved securities. Essentially, the RBI is now tightening the money supply to control inflation. The Repurchase Option Agreement is a forward agreement between the commercial bank and the central bank, in which the commercial bank commits to repurchase government securities after the Repo period at a predetermined rate. So, the difference in the amounts paid by the buyer of securities (at the time of buying) and the seller of securities (at the time of repurchasing) is termed the repo rate.

  • In some cases, the underlying collateral may lose market value during the period of the repo agreement.
  • It helps the central bank to have a ready source of liquidity at the time of need.
  • It reduces the supply of money in the system, thus controlling inflation.
  • Each repo transaction is economically similar to a loan collateralized by securities, and temporarily increases the supply of reserve balances in the banking system.
  • The economic activities suffered a setback during the pandemic because of slowed cash flow.

All banks are mandated to maintain statutory reserves with the RBI as per the stipulated cash reserve ratio and the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR). In case the commercial bank defaults in repayment of the amount, the Reserve Bank of India, has the authority to sell the collateral, i.e. government securities in the open market, to recover the amount. Similarly, inflation is controlled by RBI by increasing the reverse repo rate, and when the situations are perfect for increasing the inflation, RBI then cuts the reverse repo rate and repo rate so as to inject liquidity into the economy. The underlying security for many repo transactions is in the form of government or corporate bonds.

How Does the Federal Reserve Use Reverse Repos?

RBI imposes a higher Reverse Repo Rate when it wants to control lending and liquidity. Both are repurchasing agreements as there is the involvement of security provisions. RBI pledges securities to banks at Reverse Repo Rate and vice-versa in case of Repo Rate.

Sell/buybacks and buy/sell backs

These details are made available within the first five business days of each month and can be found using the Search Repo/Reverse Repo operation results feature. After the completion of a reverse repo operation, the Desk publishes a summary of results that provides the total amount submitted, total amount accepted, and the award rate. Some fundamental questions are yet to be resolved, including the rate at which the Fed would lend, which firms (besides banks and primary dealers) would be eligible to participate, and whether the use of the facility could become stigmatized. By setting the ON RRP rate, the FOMC establishes a floor on the rates at which these institutions are willing to lend to other counterparties. The floor improves these institutions’ ability to negotiate rates on private investments above the ON RRP rate and provides an alternative investment when more attractive rates are not available.

It helps the central bank to have a ready source of liquidity at the time of need. RBI offers great interest rates in return for the amount supplied by the commercial banks. A reverse repurchase agreement (reverse repo) is the mirror of a repo transaction. In a reverse repo, one party purchases securities and agrees to sell them back for a positive return at a later date, often as soon as the next day.


The higher price represents the interest to the buyer for loaning money to the seller during the duration of the deal. The asset acquired by the buyer acts as collateral against any default risk that it faces from the seller. Short-term RRPs hold smaller collateral risks than long-term RRPs because, over the long term, assets held as collateral can often depreciate in value, causing collateral risk for the buyer. It is the rate of interest at which banks place their money with the RBI.

Both the primary tools in RBI’s Monetary and Credit Policy work in an opposite manner. Treasury securities, U.S. agency securities, or mortgage-backed securities from a primary dealer who agrees to buy them back within typically one to seven days; a reverse repo is the opposite. Thus, the Fed describes these transactions from the counterparty’s viewpoint rather than from their own viewpoint.

How does reverse repo work?

If the Federal Reserve is one of the transacting parties, the RP is called a «system repo», but if they are trading on behalf of a customer (e.g., a foreign central bank), it is called a «customer repo». Until 2003, the Fed did not use the term «reverse repo»—which it believed implied that it was borrowing money (counter to its charter)—but used the term «matched sale» instead. A whole loan repo is a form of repo where the transaction https://1investing.in/ is collateralized by a loan or other form of obligation (e.g., mortgage receivables) rather than a security. Depending on the contract, the maturity is either set until the next business day and the repo matures unless one party renews it for a variable number of business days. Alternatively it has no maturity date – but one or both parties have the option to terminate the transaction within a pre-agreed time frame.

As a result the overall demand increases and thus the prices of goods and services also rise. RBI attempts to stabilize the price of the commodities, to maintain a balance in the economy. And to do so, it uses Repo Rate and Reverse Repo Rate as a tool to maintain that balance. It is a buying and selling agreement between the Bank and RBI, in which the bank promises to resell government securities to RBI once the Reverse Repo period is over, at a predetermined rate of interest. The two Liquidity Adjustment Facility with the Central Bank are the Repo Rate and Reverse Repo Rate. Repo Rate is the rate at which interest is charged by the central bank, i.e.

Like for the LCR, the regulations treat reserves and Treasuries as identical for meeting liquidity needs. But, similar to LCR, banks believe that government regulators prefer that banks hold on to reserves because they would not be able to seamlessly liquidate a sizeable Treasury position to keep critical functions operating during recovery or resolution. That might not seem like it matters much to someone who doesn’t work in finance, but it can make a difference to ordinary savers and investors. The risk capital acts as a buffer for any type of risk that has been taken by the banks. When banks function by taking on too much risk, it becomes important for them to approach the capital very carefully.