Reserve Ratio

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DEFINITION of 'Reserve Ratio'

The portion (expressed as a percent) of depositors' balances banks must have on hand as cash. This is a requirement determined by the country's central bank, which in the U.S. is the Federal Reserve. The reserve ratio affects the money supply in a country.

This is also referred to as the "cash reserve ratio" (CRR).

BREAKING DOWN 'Reserve Ratio'

For example, if the reserve ratio in the U.S. is determined by the Fed to be 11%, this means all banks must have 11% of their depositers' money on reserve in the bank. So, if a bank has deposits of $1 billion, it is required to have $110 million on reserve.

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