Q:

Where can you find information on Canadian bank prime rates?

A:

Quick Answer

Several websites list the current prime lending rate, including Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Canada, TD Canada Trust and National Bank of Canada. As of February 2015, the prime business rate is 2.85 percent. Rates can change at any time, without notice, according to Royal Bank of Canada.

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Full Answer

Users can input search criteria on the Bank of Canada website to see how bank rates and other financial policy variables changed over the past 10 years. For instance, from February 2005 to February 2015, the lowest prime rate for Canadian banks was 2.25 percent in July 2009 in the midst of the Great Recession of the global economy. The highest rate over this period was 6.25 percent in July 2007, just before the economic downturn occurred. The average prime bank rate over this period was 3.79 percent.

Financial institutions within Canada set their own prime rates, notes Bank of Canada. These rates are determined by the costs of short-term loans, competition from other types of investments and what other rates banks set to loan money. The Bank of Canada sets the overnight rate, which it uses to loan money to banks for a 24-hour period. The bank rate for the Bank of Canada is 0.25 percent higher than the target overnight rate. Changes in the overnight rate influence mortgage and consumer loans at other Canadian banks.

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