Primary navigation:

QFINANCE Quick Links
QFINANCE Reference
Add the QFINANCE search widget to your website

Home > QFINANCE Dictionary > Definition of reserve requirement

Definition of

reserve requirement


ratio of bank’s reserves to deposits the proportion of a bank's deposits that must be kept in reserve.

In the United Kingdom and in certain other European countries, there is no compulsory ratio, although banks will have their own internal measures and targets to be able to repay customer deposits as they forecast they will be required. In the United States, specified percentages of deposits—established by the Federal Reserve Board—must be kept by banks in a non-interest-bearing account at one of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks located throughout the country.

In Europe, the reserve requirement of an institution is calculated by multiplying the reserve ratio for each category of items in the reserve base, set by the European Central Bank, with the amount of those items in the institution's balance sheets. These figures vary according to the institution.

The required reserve ratio in the United States is set by federal law, and depends on the amount of checkable deposits a bank holds. Effective from December 29, 2011, up to $11.5M the required reserve ratio is 0%, from $11.5M to $71M it is 3% and above $71M it is 10%. These breakpoints are reviewed annually in accordance with money supply growth. No reserves are required against certificate of deposit or savings accounts.

The reserve ratio requirement limits a bank's lending to a certain fraction of its demand deposits. The current rule allows a bank to issue loans in an amount equal to 90% of such deposits, holding 10% in reserve. The reserves can be held in any combination of till money and deposit at a Federal Reserve Bank.

Related definitions of "reserve requirement"

Recommended Further Reading (Term count)
  • Peru
  • Irving Fisher
    Renowned neoclassical economist of the early 20th century
    Irving Fisher was a mathematical economist, and a pioneer of neoclassical economics and modern behavioral economics, who contributed to the fields of economics, mathematics, statistics, demography, public health and sanitation, and public affairs. He was the first to earn a PhD in Economics from Yale University, where he taught for his entire academic life. He was also a prolific writer covering a wide array of topics. He was best known for his...
  • How to Use Credit Rating Agencies
    This checklist provides advice on how to use credit rating agencies.
  • Solvency II—A New Regulatory Framework for the Insurance Sector
    by Paul Barrett
    In July 2007, the European Union (EU) introduced the Framework Directive for Solvency II, which aims to be a “modern, risk-based, supervisory framework for the regulation of European insurance and reinsurance companies.”The aim is for the directive to be enacted into law in member countries by October 2012. In the words of the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA), the directive “aims to establish a revised set of EU-wide capital requirements,...

Definitions of ’reserve requirement’ and meaning of ’reserve requirement’ are from the book publication, QFINANCE – The Ultimate Resource, © 2009 Bloomsbury Information Ltd. Find definitions for ’reserve requirement’ and other financial terms with our online QFINANCE Financial Dictionary.

Back to top

Related Blog Posts

More related Blog results