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Abstract: This paper compares the reserve requirements of OECD countries. Reserve requirements are the minimum percentages or amounts of liabilities that depository institutions are required to keep in cash or as deposits with their central banks. To facilitate monetary policy implementation, twenty-four of the thirty OECD countries impose reserve requirements to influence their banking systems’ demand for liquidity. These include twelve OECD countries that are also members of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and twelve non-EMU OECD countries. All EMU countries employ a single reserve requirement system, which is treated as one entity.

The reserve requirement system for each of the twelve non-EMU countries is discussed separately. The similarities and differences among the thirteen reserve requirement systems are highlighted. The features of reserve requirements covered include: reservable liabilities, required reserve ratios, reserve computation periods, reserve maintenance periods, types of reserve requirements, calculations of required reserves, eligible assets for satisfying reserve requirements, remuneration on reserve balances, non-compliance penalties, carry-over of reserve balances, and required clearing balances.

Keywords: Reservable liabilities, required reserve ratios, reserve computation periods, reserve maintenance periods, lagged reserve requirements, remuneration

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