What Is The Method Of Loan Pricing Followed By Commercial Banks

The price of the loan is nothing but the interest rate of the loan. The borrowers pay the interest rate in addition to the principal amount.

In the basics, we learned what the base interest rate is. But as we said, there is more.

We cannot ignore the risk factor associated with banks giving out loans to the borrowers. So, the final interest rate or loan pricing is arrived at by adding the base rate plus the profit/ risk premium for the banks accepting the risk and offering the service.

Base Rate

There are three components of base rate:

  1. Interest expense:

The interest expense is the interest the banks pay to their lenders, i.e., the people who gave the banks money to extend as loans.

  1. Administrative Costs:

Administrative costs include expenses like salaries and other costs like maintenance of premises, etc.

  1. Cost Of Capital:

There is a cost associated with obtaining funds. These are the expenses a bank incurs when it has to arrange funds from its lenders.

So, all these three components combined form the base rate.

Now, let’s explore the profit/ risk premium of the banks.

Profit/ Risk Premium

So, what is a risk? Risk, by definition, is the measurable possibility that you will lose the value.

Are you wondering what do we mean by this? In simple words, it refers to the possibility that the loan taker or borrower will not return the loan as agreed.

Also read: Everything You Need To Know About Bank Reconciliation Statement!

Considering the bank’s condition, a good lending decision will minimize this risk, and risk premium is one such tool.

Thus, a loan taker must pay the bank the risk premium as compensation for the bank assessing and accepting the risk of default.

So, what are some factors that affect the pricing of risk premiums? One of the most critical factors that affect the risk premium pricing is the past performance of the business, industry, or sector. History, in general, has always been a great learning source, and loan pricing is no different. By studying the business’s past performance and its losses, etc., we can form an idea of the risk associated with lending loans to it.

Thus. We can conclude,

Price of the loan = Base Rate + Risk Premium

But here are some last notes about loan pricing:

  1. The final interest rate arrived at should be such that it is comfortable to the customer, and they should deem it fair, keeping in mind the service and loan received.
  2. It is not an exact science. A lot many variables have to be considered regarding the supply and demand of funds. And thus, there are several ways to calculate the loan pricing. And this takes us to our next topic.

So, now that we know the recipe ingredients, you can cook this recipe in various ways. Let’s take a look at some of these!

Various Methods Of Loan Pricing Followed By Commercial Banks

Pricing MethodCharacteristics
Fixed-RateThis rate remains fixed for the entire tenure of the loan and is agreed upon at the origination.
Variable RateAs the name defines, the rate keeps changing. A minimum rate is agreed upon, and changes occur depending on the supply and demand of the fund.
Prime RateThis rate is a discounted rate, only for highly honored clients with a good record.
The General Customer RateThis rate is for the masses. Also, it is usually higher than the prime rate.
Prime TimesThis is a special rate. It is way higher than the prime rate. In prime times, if the loan’s maturity is increased or decreased, then the rate also increases or decreases in multiples.
Caps And FloorsCaps and Floors are used in variable rate loans. Caps are the maximum rate, and floors are the minimum rate in which a variable rate can vary.


Summarizing the above information, there are various methods of loan pricing followed by commercial banks. But the main factors that contribute to the methods are the base rate and risk premium. In addition to this, the many qualitative and quantitative aspects of the supply and demand of funds also play a crucial role.

Also read: Home equity line of credit vs Home equity loan

All the above factors combine to form what we call the loan pricing.

So, this was all. We hope this article was informative and valuable. And that you liked it. If you have any suggestions, doubts, or questions, please leave them in the comments section. We are all ears!

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