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Bank Rate vs. Base Rate: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 13, 2023
The bank rate is the interest rate a central bank charges on loans to commercial banks, while the base rate is the lowest rate at which a bank will lend to its customers.

Key Differences

The bank rate is set by a country's central bank and is a tool for monetary policy, influencing overall lending and borrowing in the economy. While, the base rate, determined by individual banks, is the minimum interest rate for lending to customers, including businesses and individuals.
The bank rate impacts how much it costs commercial banks to borrow from the central bank, affecting their liquidity. In contrast, the base rate serves as a benchmark for setting interest rates on various loans and credit products offered to bank customers.
Changes in the bank rate can influence inflation and economic growth by affecting overall credit availability. However, the base rate directly impacts consumer loans and mortgages, influencing individual financial decisions and spending.
The bank rate is a more macroeconomic tool, reflecting broader economic policies and conditions. Whereas, the base rate is more customer-centric, often influenced by the bank rate but also considering the bank's specific circumstances and market competition.
The bank rate is uniform across all commercial banks within a country, while base rates can vary from bank to bank, reflecting each institution's cost of funds and competitive strategy.

Comparison Chart


Interest rate charged by central bank
Minimum lending rate set by individual banks


Affects commercial banks’ cost of borrowing
Serves as a benchmark for consumer loans


Tool for national monetary policy
Benchmark for personal and business loans


Macro-economic, affecting overall economy
Direct impact on individual borrowers


Uniform across a country
Varies between different banks

Bank Rate and Base Rate Definitions

Bank Rate

The bank rate can impact overall economic conditions like inflation and growth.
Economic analysts closely watch changes in the bank rate.

Base Rate

It influences personal and business loan rates within a bank.
Business loan interest rates were adjusted in line with the new base rate.

Bank Rate

The bank rate is the interest rate at which a nation's central bank lends to commercial banks.
The central bank raised the bank rate to control inflation.

Base Rate

The base rate reflects a bank's cost of funds and lending strategy.
Competitive pressures led to a reduction in the bank's base rate.

Bank Rate

The bank rate affects the cost of funds for commercial banks.
Commercial banks adjusted their interest rates following a change in the bank rate.

Base Rate

It's a benchmark for pricing various loans and credit facilities to customers.
Mortgage rates fluctuate based on changes to the bank's base rate.

Bank Rate

It's a tool used by central banks to influence the country's monetary policy.
The reduction in the bank rate was aimed to stimulate economic growth.

Base Rate

The base rate is the minimum interest rate set by a bank for its loans and credit products.
The bank's base rate determines the interest rates for its loans.

Bank Rate

It's used to regulate liquidity in the banking system.
The central bank altered the bank rate to manage the money supply.

Base Rate

The base rate varies among banks and can change in response to market conditions.
Each bank's base rate is different, affecting consumer choice.


Can the bank rate control inflation?

Yes, by influencing the cost of borrowing and spending.

What is the base rate?

The lowest rate at which a bank lends to its customers.

How does the bank rate affect the economy?

It influences overall lending, borrowing rates, and economic activity.

What is the bank rate?

The interest rate at which the central bank lends to commercial banks.

Does the base rate affect mortgage rates?

Yes, mortgage rates often move in line with changes in the base rate.

Is the bank rate the same for all banks?

Yes, in a given country, the central bank sets a uniform bank rate.

What happens when the bank rate increases?

Borrowing costs for banks increase, potentially leading to higher loan rates.

What determines a bank's base rate?

Factors like the cost of funds, competitive market, and central bank policies.

Can a change in the bank rate affect loan repayments?

Yes, if it leads to a change in variable interest rate loans.

Who sets the bank rate?

The country's central bank.

How often can the base rate change?

It varies, depending on the bank's policy and market conditions.

Do all banks have the same base rate?

No, base rates vary among different banks.

Does the central bank control base rates of commercial banks?

Not directly, but its policies and bank rate can influence them.

Can consumers negotiate the base rate?

Generally, no, as it's a standard rate set by the bank.

Who decides a bank's base rate?

Each individual bank sets its own base rate.

What is the relationship between the bank rate and base rate?

The bank rate can influence the base rate, but they are set independently.

Are savings account interest rates affected by the base rate?

Yes, they can be influenced by changes in the base rate.

How does the bank rate affect personal loans?

Indirectly, as changes in the bank rate can influence banks' lending rates.

How do central banks decide on the bank rate?

Based on economic indicators, policy objectives, and market conditions.

Is the base rate relevant for fixed-rate loans?

Once a fixed-rate loan is set, it's not affected by base rate changes.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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