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Deposit Multiplier


The deposit multiplier, also known as the money multiplier, refers to the concept in banking where an increase in bank deposits can lead to a more significant increase in the total money supply. It arises because banks are required to hold only a fraction of their deposit liabilities (reserves), allowing them to loan out the remaining amount. This means that every deposit creates more money as it can be re-lent several times, multiplying the initial deposit’s economic impact.


The phonetic spelling for “Deposit Multiplier” is: /dɪˈpɑzɪt/ /mʌlˈtɪplaɪər/

Key Takeaways

  1. The Deposit Multiplier is a model used in Banking to measure how banks can increase money supply through lending. It is based on the premise that banks keep a percentage of deposits as reserves and lend out the remainder, which then re-enters the banking system as fresh deposits.
  2. It is determined by the reserve requirement ratio set by the central bank. A lower reserve requirement leads to a higher deposit multiplier, allowing banks to lend out a larger proportion of their deposits, thus increasing the money supply faster.
  3. However, the Deposit Multiplier theory operates under the assumption that all money lent out will be redeposited into the banking system. In reality, this may not always be the case as consumers may choose to hold a portion of their money in cash or in other non-bank assets, limiting the effectiveness of the deposit multiplier to increase the money supply.


The Deposit Multiplier is an important concept in business and finance as it represents the potential increase in bank deposits that can result from a certain level of new reserves in the banking system. Basically, it is the maximum amount of new deposits that can be created by a single dollar increase in the reserve. This concept is tied to the idea of money creation and the central role played by banks in this process. Due to fractional reserve banking, banks are only required to keep a fraction of deposits on hand, and can loan out the rest, thereby creating new money. The Deposit Multiplier, therefore, is a key determinant of money supply expansion and has implications for monetary policy, lending activity, and economic growth.


The deposit multiplier serves as a critical tool in a country’s financial system, as it helps to manage and increase the money supply in an economy. It demonstrates the maximum amount of money a bank can theoretically create with each dollar of reserves. The central bank often uses the deposit multiplier concept to control the money supply and implement monetary policy. By controlling the reserve requirement ratio, the central bank can directly influence the size of the deposit multiplier and, by extension, the total money supply in the economy.On a practical level, the deposit multiplier underscores to banks the potential they have in lending, acting as a catalyst for economic growth. At the same time, it magnifies the scope of the fractional reserve banking system, whereby banks only hold a fraction of deposits on hand and lend out the remainder. This mechanism thus provides a needed balance between maintaining sufficient reserves for withdrawal requests and contributing to economic growth through lending. However, in reality, banks often lend below the maximum threshold due to considerations like liquidity preferences and regulatory constraints.


The deposit multiplier, also known as the money multiplier, refers to the maximum amount of money a bank can create for each unit of reserves. It’s a key concept in banking and finance. Here are three real-world examples that demonstrate this term:1. Commercial Banks: When you deposit money into a bank account, the bank doesn’t just hold onto all of that money. They keep a certain percentage, called the reserve ratio, and loan out the rest. The money loaned out can be deposited in another bank, which can then lend out its portion. This process of depositing and lending can lead to a multiplication of the total amount of money in the economy by a factor higher than the original deposit, depending on the reserve ratio. 2. Central Banks: The Federal Reserve or other central banks control the reserve requirement, which adjusts the deposit multiplier. For example, if a central bank lowers the reserve requirement, banks can loan out a larger proportion of their deposits, increasing the deposit multiplier and expanding the money supply in the economy. This often takes place during periods of economic stagnation as a way to stimulate growth in the economy.3. Impact of Economic Policies: During the 2008 financial crisis, central banks around the world lowered their reserve requirements to increase the money supply in the market. This gave commercial banks more flexibility to lend, which theoretically could have increased the deposit multiplier, fueled economic activity, and aided the recovery process.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Deposit Multiplier?

The deposit multiplier, also known as the monetary multiplier, is a measure used in banking to reflect the impact of bank lending on the creation of new money.

How is the Deposit Multiplier calculated?

The deposit multiplier is calculated as the reciprocal of the reserve requirement. For example, if the reserve requirement is 10%, the deposit multiplier is 10 (1 divided by 0.10).

What is the significance of the Deposit Multiplier in finance and economics?

The deposit multiplier plays a significant role in monetary economics as it illustrates how a bank’s ability to lend can increase the total money supply in an economy, influencing overall economic activity.

How does the Deposit Multiplier impact money supply in an economy?

When a bank lends money, it effectively creates new money. This money eventually makes its way back to the banking system. The deposit multiplier indicates how much the initial deposit can potentially increase the money supply, taking into account the reserve requirement.

How does Reserve Requirement affect Deposit Multiplier?

The reserve requirement is inversely proportional to the deposit multiplier. This means, the higher the reserve requirement set by a central bank or monetary authority, the lower the limit for banks to lend, hence, a smaller deposit multiplier, and vice versa.

Can a Deposit Multiplier be less than 1?

Yes, a deposit multiplier can be less than 1. It usually happens when the reserve requirement is more than 100%, which is extremely rare and typically does not occur in practice.

Is the Deposit Multiplier the same in all banks?

No, the deposit multiplier may not be the same in all banks. It greatly depends on the reserve requirements set by the central bank or monetary authority that supervises a particular banking system.

What factors can influence the Deposit Multiplier?

The key factors influencing the deposit multiplier include the reserve requirement set by a central bank or monetary authority, the amount of reserves held by banks, and the lending habits of banks. In certain circumstances, the public’s withdrawal habits can also influence the deposit multiplier.

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