DEFINITION of Primary Dealer Credit Facility - PDCF

Primary Dealer Credit Facility - PDCF is an institution created by the Federal Reserve to provide overnight loans to primary dealers through their clearing banks in exchange for eligible collateral. The PDCF provides loans that settle the same business day and mature the following business day. The facility closed in 2010.

BREAKING DOWN Primary Dealer Credit Facility - PDCF

The Primary Dealer Credit Facility was established in order to encourage financial markets to function more effectively. Primary dealers borrowed  overnight loans from the PDCF through their clearing banks at the primary credit rate offered by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

A frequency-based fee was assigned to primary dealers who borrow from the PDCF on more than 45 business days.

Financial Crisis

The facility was one of a number of steps taken by the government to free up credit during the financial crisis. The 2008 financial crisis was the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression of 1929. The crisis was the result of a sequence of events, each with its own trigger and culminating in the near collapse of the banking system. It has been argued that the seeds of the crisis were sown as far back as the 1970s with the Community Development Act, which forced banks to loosen their credit requirements for lower-income minorities creating a market for subprime mortgages.

The Federal Reserve made loans totaling $8.95 trillion to primary dealers in exchange for a wide range of collateral under its Primary Dealer Credit Facility.   Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley each received loans that total more than $1 trillion. However, these were overnight loans, which were frequently rolled over into new loans.  Some 21,000 transactions with financial companies and foreign central banks were made using the facility.

Other steps taken during the crisis included the TALF and TARP programs. The Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility - TALF - was created by the U.S. Federal Reserve in November, 2008 to boost consumer spending to help jumpstart the economy. This was accomplished through the issuance of asset-backed securities. The collateral for these securities was made up of auto loans, student loans, credit card loans, equipment loans, floorplan loans, insurance premium finance loans, loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration, residential mortgage servicing advances or commercial mortgage loans. Backing for these loans came from funds provided by the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was a group of programs created and run by the U.S. Treasury to stabilize the country’s financial system, restore economic growth, and mitigate foreclosures in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. TARP sought to achieve these targets by purchasing troubled companies’ assets and equity.