A bank is a financial institution and a financial
intermediary that accepts deposits and channels those
deposits into lending activities, either directly by loaning
or indirectly through capital markets.
A bank is the connection between customers that have
capital deficits and customers with capital surpluses.
Due to their influence within a financial system and the
economy, banks are highly regulated in most countries.
Most banks operate under a system known as fractional
reserve banking where they hold only a small reserve of
the funds deposited and lend out the rest for profit.
DEFINITIONS AND MEANING
Under English common law, a banker is defined as a
person who carries on the business of banking, which
is specified as:
conducting current accounts for his customers,
paying cheques drawn on him/her, and
Collecting cheques for his/her customers.
"Banking business" means the business of either or
both of the following:
1. receiving from the general public money on current,
deposit, savings or other similar account repayable on
demand or within less than [3 months] ... or with a
period of call or notice of less than that period;
2. paying or collecting checks drawn by or paid in by
1. Accepting Deposits
The bank collects deposits from the public. These
deposits can be of different types, such as:-
a. Saving Deposits
b. Fixed Deposits
c. Current Deposits
d. Recurring Deposits
a. Saving Deposits:-This type of deposits encourages
saving habit among the public. The rate of interest is low.
At present it is about 5% p.a. Withdrawals of deposits are
allowed subject to certain restrictions. This account is
suitable to salary and wage earners. This account can be
opened in single name or in joint names.
b. Fixed Deposits:-Lump sum amount is deposited at one
time for a specific period. Higher rate of interest is paid,
which varies with the period of deposit. Withdrawals are
not allowed before the expiry of the period. Those who
have surplus funds go for fixed deposit.
c. Current Deposits:-This type of account is operated by
businessmen. Withdrawals are freely allowed. No
interest is paid. In fact, there are service charges. The
account holders can get the benefit of overdraft facility.
d. Recurring Deposits:-This type of account is operated
by salaried persons and petty traders. A certain sum of
money is periodically deposited into the bank.
Withdrawals are permitted only after the expiry of
certain period. A higher rate of interest is paid.
2. Granting of Loans and Advances
The bank advances loans to the business community
and other members of the public. The rate charged is
higher than what it pays on deposits. The difference in
the interest rates (lending rate and the deposit rate) is
b. Cash Credits
d. Discounting of Bill of Exchange
Overdraft:-These types of advances are given to current account holders. No
separate account is maintained. All entries are made in the current account. A
certain amount is sanctioned as overdrafts which can be withdrawn within a
certain period of time say three months or so. Interest is charged on actual
amount withdrawn. An overdraft facility is granted against a collateral security. It
is sanctioned to businessman and firms.
b. Cash Credits:-The client is allowed cash credit up to a specific limit fixed in
advance. It can be given to current account holders as well as to others who do not
have an account with bank. Separate cash credit account is maintained. Interest
is charged on the amount withdrawn in excess of limit. The cash credit is given
against the security of tangible assets and / or guarantees. The advance is given
for a longer period and a larger amount of loan is sanctioned than that of
c. Loans:-It is normally for short term say a period of one year or medium term
say a period of five years. Now-a-days, banks do lend money for long term.
Repayment of money can be in the form of installments spread over a period of
time or in a lump sum amount. Interest is charged on the actual amount
sanctioned, whether withdrawn or not. The rate of interest may be slightly lower
than what is charged on overdrafts and cash credits. Loans are normally secured
against tangible assets of the company.
d. Discounting of Bill of Exchange:-The bank can advance money by discounting
or by purchasing bills of exchange both domestic and foreign bills. The bank pays
the bill amount to the drawer or the beneficiary of the bill by deducting usual
discount charges. On maturity, the bill is presented to the drawee or acceptor of
the bill and the amount is collected.
The bank performs a number of secondary functions, also called as nonbanking functions.
1. Agency Functions
The bank acts as an agent of its customers. The bank performs a number of agency functions which includes:-
a. Transfer of Funds
b. Collection of Cheques
c. Periodic Payments
d. Portfolio Management
e. Periodic Collections
f. Other Agency Functions
a. Transfer of Funds:-The bank transfer funds from one branch to another or from one place to another.
b. Collection of Cheques:-The bank collects the money of the cheques through clearing section of its customers. The bank
also collects money of the bills of exchange.
c. Periodic Payments:-On standing instructions of the client, the bank makes periodic payments in respect of electricity
bills, rent, etc. 104
d. Portfolio Management:-The banks also undertake to purchase and sell the shares and debentures on behalf of the
clients and accordingly debits or credits the account. This facility is called portfolio management.
e. Periodic Collections:-The bank collects salary, pension, dividend and such other periodic collections on behalf of the
f. Other Agency Functions:-They act as trustees, executors, advisers and administrators on behalf of its clients. They act as
representatives of clients to deal with other banks and institutions.
2. General Utility Functions
a. Issue of Drafts, Letter of Credits, etc.
b. Locker Facility
c. Underwriting of Shares
d. Dealing in Foreign Exchange
e. Project Reports
f. Social Welfare Programmes
g. Other Utility Functions
a. Issue of Drafts and Letter of Credits:-Banks issue drafts for
transferring money from one place to another. It also issues
letter of credit, especially in case of, import trade. It also issues
b. Locker Facility:-The bank provides a locker facility for the
safe custody of valuable documents, gold ornaments and other
c. Underwriting of Shares:-The bank underwrites shares and
debentures through its merchant banking division. 105
d. Dealing in Foreign Exchange:-The commercial banks are
allowed by RBI to deal in foreign exchange.
e. Project Reports:-The bank may also undertake to prepare
project reports on behalf of its clients.
f. Social Welfare Programmes:-It undertakes social welfare
programmes, such as adult literacy programmes, public welfare
g. Other Utility Functions:-It acts as a referee to financial
standing of customers. It collects creditworthiness
information about clients of its customers. It provides market
information to its customers, etc. It provides travelers cheque
TYPES OF BANKS
1. Saving Banks
Saving banks are established to create saving habit
among the people. These banks are helpful for salaried
people and low income groups. The deposits collected
from customers are invested in bonds, securities, etc.
At present most of the commercial banks carry the
functions of savings banks. Postal department also
performs the functions of saving bank.
MoneyCommercial bank money can be described as claims
against financial institutions that can be used to purchase
goods or services.
It represents the portion of a currency that is made of debt
generated by commercial banks.More specifically, commercial
bank money is created through what we call fractional reserve
banking. Fractional-reserve banking is the practice whereby
a bank accepts deposits, makes loans or investments, but is
required to hold reserves equal to only a fraction of its deposit
liabilities. Reserves are held as currency in the bank, or as
balances in the bank's accounts at the central bank..
For a consumer it is a demand deposit from where funds can
be withdrawn at any time by cheque or draft without giving
the bank/ financial institution a prior notice.
3. Industrial Banks / Development
Industrial / Development banks collect cash by issuing
shares & debentures and providing long-term loans to
industries. The main objective of these banks is to
provide long-term loans for expansion and
modernization of industries. In India such banks are
established on a large scale after independence. They
are Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI),
Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India
(ICICI) and Industrial Development Bank of India
4. Land Mortgage / Land
Land Mortgage or Land Development banks are also
known as Agricultural Banks because these are formed
to finance agricultural sector. They also help in land
development. In India, Government has come forward
to assist these banks. The Government has guaranteed
the debentures issued by such banks. There is a great
risk involved in the financing of agriculture and
generally commercial banks do not take much interest
in financing agricultural sector.
5. Indigenous Banks
Indigenous banks mean Money Lenders and Sahukars.
They collect deposits from general public and grant
loans to the needy persons out of their own funds as
well as from deposits. These indigenous banks are
popular in villages and small towns. They perform
combined functions of trading and banking activities.
Certain well-known Indian communities like Marwaries
and Multani even today run specialized indigenous
6. Central / Federal / National
Every country of the world has a central bank. In India,
Reserve Bank of India, in U.S.A, Federal Reserve and in
U.K, Bank of England. These central banks are the
bankers of the other banks. They provide specialized
functions i.e. issue of paper currency, working as
bankers of government, supervising and controlling
foreign exchange. A central bank is a non-profit
making institution. It does not deal with the public
but it deals with other banks. The principal
responsibility of Central Bank is thorough control on
currency of a country.
7. Co-operative Banks
In India, Co-operative banks are registered under the
Co-operative Societies Act, 1912. They generally give
credit facilities to small farmers, salaried employees,
small-scale industries, etc. Co-operative Banks are
available in rural as well as in urban areas. The
functions of these banks are just similar to commercial
8. Exchange Banks
Hong Kong Bank, Bank of Tokyo, Bank of America are the
examples of Foreign Banks working in India. These banks
are mainly concerned with financing foreign trade.
Following are the various functions of Exchange Banks:-
Remitting money from one country to another country,
Discounting of foreign bills,
Buying and Selling Gold and Silver, and
Helping Import and Export Trade.
9. Consumers Banks
Consumers bank is a new addition to the existing type
of banks. Such banks are usually found only in
advanced countries like U.S.A. and Germany. The main
objective of this bank is to give loans to consumers for
purchase of the durables like Motor car, television set,
washing machine, furniture, etc. The consumers have
to repay the loans in easy installments.
RECENT TRENDS IN INDIAN
Information Technology in Banking
Indian banking industry, today is mid of an IT revolution.
A combination of regulatory and competitive reasons has
led to increasing importance of total banking automation
in the Indian Banking Industry. The bank which used the
right technology to supply timely information will see
productivity increase and thereby gain a competitive edge.
To compete in an economy which is opening up, it is
imperative for the Indian Banks to observe the latest
technology and modify it to suit their environment.
Information technology offers a chance for banks to build
new systems that address a wide range of customer needs
including many that may not be imaginable today.
Electronic Payment Services - E Cheques
Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS)
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
Electronic Clearing Service (ECS)
Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)
Point of Sale Terminal (POST)
Tele Banking (TB)
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
The creation of credit or deposits is one of the most
vital operations of the commercial banks. Similar to
other corporations, banks aim at earnings profits. For
this intention, they accept cash in demand deposits
and advance loans on credit to customers. When a
bank advances funds, it does not pay the amount in
currency notes. However, it introduces a current
account in the name of the investor and lets him to
withdraw the necessary amount by cheques. By this
way, banks create deposits or credit.