Banking on a Manufacturing Business | #VinculaciónUNAB

A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates credit. Lending activities can be performed either directly or indirectly through capital markets. Due to their importance in the financial system and influence on national economies, banks are highly regulated in most countries.

Banks do not create money for the public good. They are businesses owned by private shareholders. Their purpose is to make a profit.John Rogers

Most nations have institutionalized a system known as fractional reserve banking under which banks hold liquid assets equal to only a portion of their current liabilities. In addition to other regulations intended to ensure liquidity, banks are generally subject to minimum capital requirements based on an international set of capital standards, known as the Basel Accords.

Banking in it’s modern sense evolved in the 14th century in the rich cities of Renaissance Italy but in many ways was a continuation of ideas and concepts of credit and lending that had their roots in the ancient world.

Standard business

Banks act as payment agents by conducting checking or current accounts for customers, paying cheques drawn by customers on the bank, and collecting cheques deposited to customers’ current accounts. Banks also enable customer payments via other payment methods such as Automated Clearing House (ACH), Wire transfers or telegraphic transfer and automated teller machines.

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Banks borrow money by accepting funds deposited on current accounts, by accepting term deposits, and by issuing debt securities such as banknotes and bonds. Banks lend money by making advances to customers on current accounts, by making installment loans, and by investing in marketable debt securities and other forms of money lending.

Banks provide different payment services, and a bank account is considered indispensable by most businesses and individuals. Non-banks that provide payment services such as remittance companies are normally not considered as an adequate substitute for a bank account.

Range of activities

Activities undertaken by banks include personal banking, corporate banking, investment banking, private banking, insurance, consumer finance, foreign exchange trading, commodity trading, trading in equities, futures and options trading and money market trading.

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A bank can generate revenue in a variety of different ways including interest, transaction fees and financial advice. The traditionally most significant method is via charging interest on the capital it lends out to customers. The bank profits from the difference between the level of interest it pays for deposits and other sources of funds, and the level of interest it charges in its lending activities.

Banks offer many different channels to access their banking and other services:

  • Automated teller machines
  • A branch in a retail location
  • Mail: most banks accept cheque deposits via mail and use mail to communicate to their customers, e.g. by sending out statements
  • Mobile banking is a method of using one’s mobile phone to conduct banking transactions
  • Online banking is a term used for performing multiple transactions, payments etc. over the Internet

Capital and risk

Banks face a number of risks in order to conduct their business, and how well these risks are managed and understood is a key driver behind profitability, and how much capital a bank is required to hold. Bank capital consists principally of equity, retained earnings and subordinated debt.

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Banks are susceptible to many forms of risk which have triggered occasional systemic crises. These include liquidity risk (where many depositors may request withdrawals in excess of available funds), credit risk and interest rate risk (the possibility that the bank will become unprofitable, if rising interest rates force it to pay relatively more on its deposits than it receives on its loans).

Banking crises have developed many times throughout history, when one or more risks have emerged for a banking sector as a whole. Prominent examples include the bank run that occurred during the Great Depression, the U.S. Savings and Loan crisis in the 1980s and early 1990s, the Japanese banking crisis during the 1990s, and the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the 2000s.

Usually the definition of the business of banking for the purposes of regulation is extended to include acceptance of deposits, even if they are not repayable to the customer’s order—although money lending, by itself, is generally not included in the definition.