Repo Rate vs Reverse Repo Rate 2023

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on 22 May 2020, revised the repo rate to 4.00%. This implies a cut of 40 basis points in the rate. The last revision was made on 27 March 2020, wherein the central bank revised its repo rate to 4.4%. The previous repo rate set on 4 October 2019 was 5.15%. The latest revision in repo rate is a reduction of 75 basis points. This is the highest repo rate cut in the last decade.

The reverse repo rate now stands at 3.35%.

Difference between Repo Rate and Reverse Repo Rate

The reverse repo rate now stands at 3.35% after a drop of 40 basis points (bps).

The reverse repo rate was decreased by 90 basis points earlier after which it stood at the rate of 3.75%. The previous repo rate was 4.4% which was revised on 27 March 2020.

On 4 April 2019, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) revised the repo rate. This rate was decreased by 25 basis points, from 6.25% to 6%.

Even the reverse repo rate saw revisions with a decrease of 25 basis points, which now stands at 5.75%. The previous reverse repo rate, which was revised on 1 August 2018, stood at 6%. The most recent revision witnessed a drop of another 25 basis points and now the repo rate stands at 5.15%, with effect from 4 October 2019.

To understand how this affects you and your loans, you need to know what’s the difference between the repo rate and reverse repo rate.

Repo Rate

When commercial banks approach the Reserve Bank of India for funds, they’re charged a certain amount of interest. The rate at which RBI lends these finances to commercial banks is called the repo rate.

In this case, a repurchasing agreement is signed by both the parties, stating that the securities will be repurchased on a given date at a predetermined price. For instance, let’s assume the repo rate fixed by the RBI is 10% p.a. and the amount borrowed by a bank from RBI is Rs.10,000. The interest rate to be paid by the bank will be Rs.1,000.

The repo rate in India is fixed and monitored by India’s central banking institution, the Reserve Bank of India. It allows the central bank to control liquidity, money supply, and inflation level in the country.

To decrease the money supply in the economy, the RBI will hike up the repo rate to discourage banks from borrowing funds. Similarly, if the RBI wants to pump funds into the system, it might reduce the repo rate, thus encouraging banks to go ahead and borrow funds.

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Reverse Repo Rate

Reverse repo rate is the interest offered by the RBI to banks who deposit funds into the treasury. For instance, when banks generate excess funds, they may deposit the money in the central bank. This is a much safer approach when compared to lending it to other companies or account holders.

So, the interest earned on the deposited funds is known as the reverse repo rate. As an example, let’s assume the reverse repo rate is 5% p.a. A commercial bank has deposited Rs.10,000 in the central bank. This means, the commercial bank will earn Rs.500 p.a. as interest.

This is another financial instrument used by the RBI to control the supply of money in the nation. In case the RBI is falling short on money, they can always ask commercial banks to pitch in with funds and offer them great reverse repo rates in return. This gives banks and other financial institutions the opportunity to earn profit on excess funds.

5 Major differences between Repo Rate and Reverse Repo Rate

Besides the way these rates work, there are other differentiators you should know of:

  • A high repo rate helps drain excess liquidity from the market, whereas a high reverse repo rate helps inject liquidity into the economic system.
  • The repo rate is always higher than the reverse repo rate.
  • Repo rate is used to control inflation and reverse repo rate is used to control the money supply.

To conclude, the major difference between these two is that an increase in the repo rate will make commercial banks borrow less. Whereas an increase in the reverse repo rate will allow commercial banks to transfer more funds to RBI, which contributes to the money supply.


  1. What is the effect of an increase in repo rate in the case of banks and loans?
  2. If the repo rate is increased, interest rates of loans will also increase because borrowing funds from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be more expensive for commercial banks.

  3. What happens if the reverse repo rate is increased?
  4. If the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) increases the reverse repo rate, banks will be able to earn higher rates of interest on the funds that they have invested with the apex bank. However, if banks choose to invest more with the RBI than lend their money out into the market, it will result in less money circulating in the economy.

  5. What is the reason for repo rate and reverse repo rate?
  6. The repo rate aims to meet any deficiencies in the circulation of funds in the market while the reverse repo rate helps to maintain and increase liquidity in the economy and thereby strengthen it.

  7. Which will always be higher – the repo rate or the reverse repo rate?
  8. The reverse repo rate will always be lower than the repo rate.

  9. How do I find out the latest reverse repo rate and repo rate?
  10. The latest repo rate and reverse repo rates can be found on the official website of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), as well as on other credible websites such as BankBazaar, news agency portals, and print media publications.

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