What Is a Bill Market? Benefit, Types, 5 Facts

What Is A Bill market, have created the ultimate marketplace where you can buy and sell products in bulk at very low prices. Continue reading to learn all you need to know.

What Is a Bill Market?

The market for bills is a component of the British financial system. The bill market, which is sometimes known as a discount market, is the conduit via which the Bank of England injects new funds into the economy.

What Is a Bill Market?

It is comparable to the Federal Reserve in the United States. The issuance of money and credit is handled in accordance with choices made by the central bank, the Bank of England.

Understanding Bill Market

In addition to the Bank of England, dozens of other financial organizations, often known as joint banks, contribute to the London financial system and bill market. These banking institutions function as distinct branches.

The funds stored by these financial organizations are made accessible to the London money market system, which issues short-term loans. Bill market participants include institutional investors such as insurance companies, businesses, and private lenders.

In the United Kingdom, a discount house or bill broker is a participant in the bill market. It acquires banker’s acceptance and commercial paper, among other financial items, at a discount. This institution may be involved in applying for treasury bills issued by the United Kingdom government.

Governments might, for example, issue short-term debt with a certain face value. A discount house may engage in the bill market by submitting an offer to purchase a government instrument at a price significantly below par.

In the interim, the government obtains access to funds while the discount house earns from the gap between the face value and purchase price.

Liquidity In the Bill Market

Liquidity in the bill market refers to the ease and efficiency at which treasury bills can be traded. This can be measured based on the price that was paid for a debt instrument, or bid, and the value at which the same financial security is sold, which is the ask price.

The difference between these two components is the spread, and it gives market participants a sense of how liquid this market is currently.

What Is a Bill Market?

Debt Transactions On A bill market

A bill market is a location where debt transactions take place. In response to extending a loan or an item on credit, for instance, a borrower may get a business invoice.

This paper contains the pertinent information, including the loan’s expiry date and the total amount owed to the lender. Typically, these credit transactions are short-term in nature and terminate within a few months.

Types of Bill Market Scheme

Old Bill Market Scheme

In January 1952, the Reserve Bank of India initiated the bill market initiative. Under this program, the Reserve Bank agreed to extend loans to commercial banks in exchange for their demand promissory notes backed by the usance bills of its constituents or customers.

Prior to 1952, banks could only obtain more cash from the Federal Reserve by selling government assets to it.

Now, however, according to the bill market arrangement, a bank can lend to its clients against their promissory notes and utilize those same promissory notes to borrow from the Reserve Bank.

The bank must only convert these promissory notes into usance promissory notes with a 90-day maturity. Thus, the objective of the bill market plan was to expand the Reserve Bank’s lending window for banks by allowing them to borrow even against their conventional commercial credit following its conversion into qualified bills.

The bill market method was initially offered on a trial basis. It was limited to scheduled banks having deposits of 10 crore rupees or more, for loans with a minimum ceiling of 10 lakh rupees, and against individual bills with a minimum value of one lakh rupees apiece.

Later on, the program’s scope was periodically expanded by allowing additional banks to borrow under the scheme, by lowering the minimum eligibility value for bills, by lowering the minimum limit of advances, and by expanding the system to export bills with a minimum usance of 180 days.

Soon after, the bill market plan gained popularity. From Rs. 29 crores in 1951–52 to Rs. 228 crores in 1955–56 and Rs. 1,354 crores in 1968–69, the total amount of loans issued under the plan climbed.

In reality, the bill market program created in 1952 was a sham bill market scheme. The Reserve Bank’s purpose was not to build a true bill market, but to give prolonged financial accommodation to banks.

The plan was not founded on legitimate trade bills, but rather on the conversion of bank loans and advances into usance bills.

The genuine bill financing enforces the discipline of timely payment and incorporates credit transactions backed by actual trade transactions.

The bill market plan, on the other hand, evolved the cash credit system of bank lending, which the bank’s borrowers found to be far more flexible, elastic, and to their liking; the discipline of the bill financing was removed from this system.

What Is a Bill Market?

The report of the Dehajia Committee exposed the abuses of the cash system and recommended the adoption of bill financing for the supervision of monies provided by commercial banks.

New Bill Market Scheme

In February 1970, the Reserve Bank of India, dissatisfied with the old bill market scheme, established a Study Group under the leadership of Sh Narasimhan to investigate the issue of expanding the use of bills of exchange as a credit instrument and the establishment of a genuine bill market in India.

In November 1970, in accordance with Section 17 (2) of the Reserve Bank of India Act, the Reserve Bank of India implemented the New Bill Market Scheme based on the report of the research group.

The main features of the New Bill Market Scheme

The Reserve Bank will accept bills of exchange from any regulated scheduled commercial banks, including public sector banks.

The system only applies to authentic trade invoices pertaining to the sale or shipment of goods.

These banknotes are redeemed by the Reserve Bank. This is why the program is also known as the Bills Rediscounting Program.

The facility for rediscounting should be available at the Reserve Bank’s offices in Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, and New Delhi. To prevent the need to rediscount a large number of tiny notes, they should be distributed in bundles.

The purchaser’s bank must accept and draw on the bill. If the buyer’s bank is not a licensed scheduled bank, the bill must also display the signatures of a licensed scheduled bank.

The bills should have a 90-day maximum validity period.

The bills must be signed by at least two competent individuals.

The plan excludes bills of exchange pertaining to the sale of products to government agencies, quasi-government entities, and statutory businesses, as well as the sale of such commodities as may be specified by the Reserve Bank.

In 1971, the program was modified to include bills of exchange pertaining to the sale of products to government agencies, quasi-government entities, and statutory businesses.

Since April 1972, bills of exchange drawn and approved by the Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) were eligible for discount under the scheme.

Advantages of Developed Bill Market

Bill market development benefits borrowers, creditors, and the financial and monetary system as a whole. The bill market strategy will contribute significantly to the development of the country’s bill market.

The following are various advantages of developed bill markets:

Cash credit is inferior than bill financing. The date of repayment of a bank’s loans through discounting or rediscounting is fixed, and bills are self-liquidating.

In the event of a need for cash, bills offer holders with greater liquidity because they may be traded on the market.

A robust bill market is also advantageous for banks in the event of an emergency. In the absence of this market, banks in need of cash must rely on the call money market or the lending window of the Reserve Bank.

The rate on commercial bills is significantly greater than the rate on Treasury bills. Thus, commercial banks and other financial institutions with short-term excess cash find in bills a source of both liquidity and profit.

Borrowers can also benefit from a market for development bills. The banknotes are dated, tradable, and accompanied by the acceptor’s signature for further security. Therefore, the cost of bill financing is cheaper for the borrower than the cost of cash credit.

A robust bill market increases the elasticity of a nation’s monetary system. When the economy wants additional cash, banks can rediscount bills from the Reserve Bank, therefore increasing the money supply.

What Is a Bill Market?

The growth of the bill market will also increase the effectiveness of the monetary control measures imposed by the Federal Reserve.

According to the Narasimhan Study Group, “the evolution of the bill market will also make the Bank Rate variation by the Reserve Bank a more effective weapon of monetary control, as the effects of any such changes could be transmitted through this sensitive market to the remainder of the banking system.”

Defects of Bill Market Scheme

The bill market model is a positive development. Over the years, the scheme’s operation has been fairly positive. From 10 crores at the end of June 1971 to 110 crores at the end of March 1980, the outstanding level of bills rediscounted under the plan climbed significantly.

But, the scheme has been subjected to criticism due to its various defects:

The strategy has often been utilized by banks and their borrowers to counteract the Reserve bank’s credit control initiatives. When the Reserve Bank attempted to manage bank credit without limiting the bill rediscounting capacity, banks utilized this facility more frequently.

This rendered the Federal Reserve’s restrictive monetary policy ineffective. As a result, the Reserve Bank was first compelled to impose limits on the bill rediscounting facility, and later to permit the facility at its own discretion.

The idea for building a true bill market has not been effective. The primary reason is that both borrowers and banks continue to choose cash credit over bill financing.

The program is limited to banks and a few other financial entities. It has not been able to cover the indigenous bankers and other unorganized Indian money market participants.

The system has remained predominantly focused on industry, trade, and commerce. The extension has not been made to the agricultural sector.


A bill market is basically an online marketplace for purchasing goods. The service works as a virtual garage where people can list items they are looking to sell.

xWhen a potential buyer searches for the product, he or she is presented with a list of sellers from whom they can purchase the item. There are many bill markets available and some allow you to offer a shipping service while others do not.

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