FINANCE: Basis Point (BPS) explained 

FINANCE: Basis Point (BPS) explained 

What is the basis point? 

The smallest unit of measurement in finance is a basis point. Basis points are used by accountants, bankers, and other financial experts to describe sums less than one percent.

One basis point is equal to 1/100 of one percent, or 0.01% (abbreviated as “bps” and pronounced “beep”). A basis point, then, indicates a %.

Basis Points (BPS), a unit of measurement used in banking, are equivalent to 1/100th of 1 percent. BPS calculates interest rates, a fixed-income security’s yield, and other financial percentages or rates.

What is the essence of a basis point? 

Especially when the difference in actual interest rates is less than 1%, this metric is frequently employed to represent percentage changes or yield spreads in loans and bonds.

Because they are accurate, basis points are significant. They assist in dispelling some of the ambiguity that can develop when we discuss the distinction between two percentage rates.

For instance, someone said the interest rate increased by 1% from 5% to 6%; the change might be an absolute rise, from 5% to 5.1%, or a relative change, from 6% to 6%. But if we represented the rise in basis points, we could precisely determine that there had been a 100 basis point increase. So, as a result, the interest rate rose to 6% by 100 basis points.

How are basis points calculated?

Fundamental Formulas:

Basis Points= Percentage * 100

Percentage = Basis Points / 100

To convert a percentage to basis points, increase it by 100. Then, simply divide the basis points by 100 to convert basis points to percentages.

How basis points are used

The Federal Reserve uses basis points to describe changes to the fed funds rate. For instance, if the Fed increases interest rates by 0.25 percentage points, it translates to 0.25 bps.

The basis points are expressed in mortgage loans, annuity rate adjustments, and interest rate spreads. An interest rate spread is a difference between two interest rates.

Mutual fund and exchange-traded fund expense ratios are also reported in basis points. Broker commissions, annuity fees, and other administrative costs are also stated in basis points.

Key Terminologies of Basis Point


Why are they referred to as “basis points,” then? Interest rates gave rise to the phrase. The spread between two rates, known as the “basis,” was traded by traders. Although traders have developed additional terminology based on basis points to indicate larger amounts, such as:

  • MegaBips, or 10 bps (0.1%)
  • UltraBips, or 100 bps (1%), and
  • GigaBips, or 1000 bps (10%)


A basis point might be small-scale, but it can impact our overall economy more. Because of this, for example, if interest rates go up even on the slightest movement, that can hit the mortgage industry to billions, if not trillions, of additional dollars. Also, credit card rates and other financial instruments.

Even while basis point changes can appear complicated, if you’ve ever had your rate reduced or increased, it was probably due to basis points. So it’s crucial to understand how they could affect your possible home purchase or change your monthly mortgage payments.

Derick Baxter