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Base Lending Rate

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What is the Base Lending Rate (BLR)? Base Lending Rate (BLR) is a minimum interest rate calculated by financial institutions based on a formula which takes into account the institutions cost of funds and other administrative costs. The BLR is almost always the same amongst major banks. Adjustments to the BLR are made by banks at the almost same time; although, the BLR does not adjust on any regular basis. The BLR is usually adjusted at the time in correlation to the adjustments of the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) which is determine by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) during Monetary Policy Meeting. Banks in some countries use the name "Prime Rate" or "Prime Lending Rate" to refer to their Base Lending Rate. On 1 November 1995, Bank Negara Malaysia (”BNM”) imposed a ceiling on the BLRs quoted by banking institutions. The ceiling rate would be determined by a formula. This framework was further revised on 1 September 1998 to enhance the speed of transmission of changes in BNM’s monetary policy (via revisions to intervention rate and SSR) to changes in the economy’s interest rate levels.

In general, the formula for the ceiling BLR is calculated as follows:

Ceiling BLR = Adjusted BNM Intervention Rate + Fixed administrative charge

The ceiling BLRs for commercial banks and finance companies are fundamentally different due to the way the Adjusted BNM Intervention Rate is interpreted:

For commercial banks, the Adjusted BNM Intervention Rate = BNM Intervention Rate x 80% / (1-SRR%)
For finance companies, the Adjusted BNM Intervention Rate = BNM Intervention Rate / (1-SRR%)
Commercial banks have a lower Adjusted BNM Intervention Rate (compared to finance companies) resulting in lower ceiling BLR as commercial banks have a relatively lower cost of funds. This is due to the presence of zero-interest current account balances.

In practice, the BNM Intervention Rate is taken as the prevailing BNM 3-month intervention rate (the previous month’s average KLIBOR was formerly used). BNM set the fixed administrative charge at 2.50% initially, but on 1 September 2008 lowered it to 2.25% in order to promote greater operational efficiency among banking institutions. Whenever BNM changes the intervention rate or the SRR, banking institutions are given 1 week to adjust their BLR to comply with the new ceiling.


Last Reported BLR : 6.60%  (Effective Since 11 May 2011)

(Rate refreshed on 06 March 2014)


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