Bank of Canada was founded in 1935. Since then:
March 1935 to November 1956
The original key interest rate was the Bank Rate. This is the minimum rate of interest that the Bank of Canada charges on one-day loans to financial institutions. Between March 1935 and November 1956, the Bank Rate was fixed, set directly by the Bank.
November 1956 to June 1962
The Bank Rate became a floating rate, set at 25 basis points above the average yield on 3-month treasury bills at the federal government's weekly auction.
June 1962 to March 1980
The Bank Rate was again fixed, set directly by the Bank.
March 1980 to February 1996
The Bank Rate was returned to a floating rate, set at 25 basis points above the average yield on 3-month treasury bills at the federal government's weekly auction.
22 February 1996 to present
Since 1996 the Bank Rate has been set by the Bank at the top of its operating band for the overnight rate (see next column.) This provides a clearer indicator of monetary policy intentions, because the Bank's influence on the overnight rate is more direct than on 3-month treasury bill rates.
In December 2000, the Bank began setting the level of the Bank Rate—and with it, the target for the overnight rate—on eight fixed dates per year. For 2011, these dates are
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