A reverse repo is a loan, and banks get paid interest to perform them, whether it be with the Fed or another party.
Let’s go through a simple example. Assume that you have a car that you don’t want to sell, but you also need $10,000 of cash for short term purposes. To obtain the cash, you and I perform a “reverse repo.” I agree to “buy” your car for $10,000 today, but you will agree to buy it back from me for $10,500 in 3 months. I hand you over $10,000, and in return, I become the owner of the car for the next 3 months. Fast forward 3 months later, you buy back the car from me for $10,500.
You gained access to $10,000 of cash for 3 months, then paid me back $10,500. The $500 difference represents the interest you’re paying me for the loan. The car was collateral in case you weren’t able to buy back the car. A reverse repo is simply a glorified secured loan.
With the context of the example above, let me answer your questions:
Brandon, I was looking at the Fed’s perspective because if the Fed wants to tighten the money supply, they need to take the cash out of the system. So Fed would need to give securities to bank in exchange for cash, the bank is giving money to the Fed causing the bank to decrease their ability to lend money to people or third parties.
Yes. The bank is essentially “loaning” money to the Fed, and they’ll be compensated for doing so. Don’t worry about how they’re being compensated, as it’s not important for the exam.
I thought Reverse repo was one of the tools that the Fed uses to control the money supply. If that’s the case, then why would the bank want to buy securities from the Fed to tighten the money supply?
Reverse repos are a tool the Fed uses to institute monetary policy. You’re right! The bank takes part in it because they’ll be compensated by the Fed.
Isn’t it in the bank’s best interest to have more money to loan out?
Yep! Think of a reverse repo as a “loan” to the Fed. Again, they’re compensated for doing this.
I didn’t know that it’s also something that can occur out of the Fed/Bank relationship.
Yep, it does occur outside of the Fed/bank relationship. I expect most test questions to focus on reverse repos performed by the Fed, although it’s possible you see a question involving a bank lending to another organization.