Economic Definition of reserve requirements. Defined.
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Term reserve requirements Definition: Rules by the Federal Reserve System governing the amount of bank reserves that banks must keep to back up their deposits. Legal reserve requirements came about because banks that practice fractional-reserve banking are sometimes inclined to make too many interest-paying loans and neglect to keep enough reserves on hand to pay their depositors. In principle, the Fed can alter reserve requirements to control the money supply. In practice, however, the Fed prefers to use open market operations or the discount rate.