Net Interest Rate Spread

DEFINITION of 'Net Interest Rate Spread'

The difference between the average yield a financial institution receives from loans and other interest-accruing activities and the average rate it pays on deposits and borrowings. The net interest rate spread is a key determinant of a financial institution's profitability (or lack thereof).

BREAKING DOWN 'Net Interest Rate Spread'

In simple terms, the net interest spread is like a profit margin. The greater the spread, the more profitable the financial institution is likely to be; the lower the spread, the less profitable the institution is likely to be. While the federal funds rate plays a large role in determining the rate at which an institution lends immediate funds, open market activities ultimately shape the rate spread.

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