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Base rate

The minimum rate of interest that a bank will demand on money loaned, rather than the actual rate, which will be fixed according to normal market pressures and the element of risk involved. Changes in base rates will tend to flow from changes in the minimum lending rate of the Bank of England and will, in turn, be reflected in the many other branches of the money market, particularly rates on bills of exchange discounted, mortgage rates, interest charged or allowed by finance houses and the cost of money generally.

Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.