discount, in banking and investment, fee for lending money, which the banker deducts from the loan when it is given. Thus, with a $1,000 loan at a 6% discount, the borrower receives $940 and repays $1,000. Unlike a discount, interest is paid periodically. Central banks, as in the U.S. Federal Reserve System, charge a discount when lending notes to member banks. Such a fee is often called a rediscount. When bills of exchange are cashed in advance, a percentage is discounted from the price they would bring at maturity. When securities are sold at less than par, they are said to be sold at a discount. Trade discount is a deduction from the list price. Discounts from transportation rates are called rebates. Certain banks specializing in banks' and bankers' acceptances, U.S. Treasury certificates of indebtedness, U.S. bonds approaching maturity, U.S. Treasury bills, and other high-quality, short-term credit obligations call themselves discount corporations.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.