The pricing of bank lending and borrowing: evidence from the federal funds market

BIS Working Papers No 62
March 1999
This paper examines the terms of bank lending and borrowing by exploring pricing in the federal funds market, the market in which financial institutions trade overnight reserves. By exploiting a never-before-used dataset containing detailed information on every Fedwire transfer between financial institutions, interest rates actually paid by institutions in the funds market are calculated. The size of the trading institutions and their relative importance in the funds market are shown to affect the rates charged for overnight borrowing, thereby providing insight into the nature of competition in the federal funds market. Proxies for creditworthiness are also used to estimate the size and nature of very-short-horizon risk premia. Transaction volume and size-of-transaction effects are also explored, highlighting the role of liquidity in interest rate determination. Evidence of relationship banking among banks and an intraday credit market is also found.