Base rate: new topping on old pie
By Joseph Samson
Jul 5, 2010
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Although base rate has come into play from the 1st of this month, there doesn't seem to be much difference with the earlier BPLR system of lending.

The BPLR system of lending used to lend well managed corporates at rates much below the prime lending rate. The retail borrower happened to be the sufferer in the case. But base rate does not seem to bring hoards of opportunities to the retail borrower too.

Banks have announced their base lending rates (BLR) in several ranges. While the top lenders, State Bank of India and ICICI Bank announced their BLR at 7.5%, HDFC Bank set it at 7.25% while Dhanlaxmi Bank went ahead of all and declared its BLR at 7%.

Cost of funds, although a major factor in determining the BLR of banks is however not the sole factor accounting for the calculation. Thus, although SBI has the cheapest source of funds from savings interest but other sources of funds also act as vital factors in BLR.

Thus the BLR calculation would not happen to be as much transparent as it was sought to be owing to the complicated calculations.

So how much benefit the BLR is going to bring to the retail borrower is yet to unfold with time.


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