The Banks and Banking Portal

The Bank of England, established in 1694
The Bank of England, established in 1694

A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates a demand deposit while simultaneously making loans. Lending activities can be directly performed by the bank or indirectly through capital markets.

Because banks play an important role in financial stability and the economy of a country, most jurisdictions exercise a high degree of regulation over banks. Most countries have institutionalised 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, the Basel Accords. (Full article...)

Selected banking articles

  • Image 1A bank card is typically a plastic card issued by a bank to its clients that performs one or more of a number of services that relate to giving the client access to bank account.Physically, a bank card will usually have the client's name, the issuer's name, and a unique card number printed on it. It will have a magnetic strip on the back enabling various machines to read and access information. Depending on the issuing bank and the preferences of the client, this may allow the card to be used as an ATM card, enabling transactions at automatic teller machines; as debit card, linked to the client's bank account and able to be used for making purchases at the point of sale. (Full article...)
    A bank card is typically a plastic card issued by a bank to its clients that performs one or more of a number of services that relate to giving the client access to bank account.

    Physically, a bank card will usually have the client's name, the issuer's name, and a unique card number printed on it. It will have a magnetic strip on the back enabling various machines to read and access information. Depending on the issuing bank and the preferences of the client, this may allow the card to be used as an ATM card, enabling transactions at automatic teller machines; as debit card, linked to the client's bank account and able to be used for making purchases at the point of sale. (Full article...)
  • Image 2The CELS ratings or CAMELS rating is a supervisory rating system originally developed in the U.S. to classify a bank's overall condition. It is applied to every bank and credit union in the U.S. and is also implemented outside the U.S. by various banking supervisory regulators.The ratings are assigned based on a ratio analysis of the financial statements, combined with on-site examinations made by a designated supervisory regulator. In the U.S. these supervisory regulators include the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the National Credit Union Administration, the Farm Credit Administration, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. (Full article...)
    The CELS ratings or CAMELS rating is a supervisory rating system originally developed in the U.S. to classify a bank's overall condition. It is applied to every bank and credit union in the U.S. and is also implemented outside the U.S. by various banking supervisory regulators.

    The ratings are assigned based on a ratio analysis of the financial statements, combined with on-site examinations made by a designated supervisory regulator. In the U.S. these supervisory regulators include the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the National Credit Union Administration, the Farm Credit Administration, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. (Full article...)
  • Image 3Giro or GIRO may refer to: (Full article...)
    Giro or GIRO may refer to: (Full article...)
  • Image 4A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is an institution that manages the currency and monetary policy of a state or formal monetary union,and oversees their commercial banking system. In contrast to a commercial bank, a central bank possesses a monopoly on increasing the monetary base. Most central banks also have supervisory and regulatory powers to ensure the stability of member institutions, to prevent bank runs, and to discourage reckless or fraudulent behavior by member banks.Central banks in most developed nations are institutionally independent from political interference. Still, limited control by the executive and legislative bodies exists. (Full article...)
    A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is an institution that manages the currency and monetary policy of a state or formal monetary union,
    and oversees their commercial banking system. In contrast to a commercial bank, a central bank possesses a monopoly on increasing the monetary base. Most central banks also have supervisory and regulatory powers to ensure the stability of member institutions, to prevent bank runs, and to discourage reckless or fraudulent behavior by member banks.

    Central banks in most developed nations are institutionally independent from political interference. Still, limited control by the executive and legislative bodies exists. (Full article...)
  • Image 5The 2010 United States foreclosure crisis, sometimes referred to as Foreclosure-gate or Foreclosuregate, refers to a widespread epidemic of improper foreclosures initiated by large banks and other lenders.  The foreclosure crisis was extensively covered by news outlets beginning in October 2010, and several large banks—including Bank of America, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup—responded by halting their foreclosure proceedings temporarily in some or all states.  The foreclosure crisis caused significant investor fear in the U.S. A 2014 study published in the American Journal of Public Health linked the foreclosure crisis to an increase in suicide rates.One out of every 248 households in the United States received a foreclosure notice in September 2012, according to RealtyTrac. (Full article...)
    The 2010 United States foreclosure crisis, sometimes referred to as Foreclosure-gate or Foreclosuregate, refers to a widespread epidemic of improper foreclosures initiated by large banks and other lenders. The foreclosure crisis was extensively covered by news outlets beginning in October 2010, and several large banks—including Bank of America, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup—responded by halting their foreclosure proceedings temporarily in some or all states. The foreclosure crisis caused significant investor fear in the U.S. A 2014 study published in the American Journal of Public Health linked the foreclosure crisis to an increase in suicide rates.

    One out of every 248 households in the United States received a foreclosure notice in September 2012, according to RealtyTrac. (Full article...)
  • Image 6The 100 point check is a personal identification system adopted by the Australian Government to combat  financial transaction fraud by individuals and companies, enacted by the Financial Transactions Reports Act (1988) (FTR Act), which established the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and which continued in existence under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006.The 100 point system applies to individuals opening new financial accounts in Australia, including bank accounts or betting accounts. Points are allocated to the types of documentary proof of identity that the person can produce, and they must have at least 100 points of identification to be able to operate an account. The system now also applies to the establishment of a number of official identity documents, such as an Australian passport and driving licence. (Full article...)
    The 100 point check is a personal identification system adopted by the Australian Government to combat financial transaction fraud by individuals and companies, enacted by the Financial Transactions Reports Act (1988) (FTR Act), which established the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and which continued in existence under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006.

    The 100 point system applies to individuals opening new financial accounts in Australia, including bank accounts or betting accounts. Points are allocated to the types of documentary proof of identity that the person can produce, and they must have at least 100 points of identification to be able to operate an account. The system now also applies to the establishment of a number of official identity documents, such as an Australian passport and driving licence. (Full article...)
  • Image 7Islamic banking, Islamic finance (Arabic: مصرفية إسلامية), or Sharia-compliant finance is banking or financing activity that complies with Sharia (Islamic law) and its practical application through the development of Islamic economics. Some of the modes of Islamic banking/finance include Mudarabah (profit-sharing and loss-bearing), Wadiah (safekeeping), Musharaka (joint venture), Murabahah (cost-plus), and Ijara (leasing).Sharia prohibits riba, or usury, defined as interest paid on all loans of money (although some Muslims dispute whether there is a consensus that interest is equivalent to riba). Investment in businesses that provide goods or services considered contrary to Islamic principles (e.g. pork or alcohol) is also haram ("sinful and prohibited"). (Full article...)
    Islamic banking, Islamic finance (Arabic: مصرفية إسلامية), or Sharia-compliant finance is banking or financing activity that complies with Sharia (Islamic law) and its practical application through the development of Islamic economics. Some of the modes of Islamic banking/finance include Mudarabah (profit-sharing and loss-bearing), Wadiah (safekeeping), Musharaka (joint venture), Murabahah (cost-plus), and Ijara (leasing).

    Sharia prohibits riba, or usury, defined as interest paid on all loans of money (although some Muslims dispute whether there is a consensus that interest is equivalent to riba). Investment in businesses that provide goods or services considered contrary to Islamic principles (e.g. pork or alcohol) is also haram ("sinful and prohibited"). (Full article...)
  • Image 8An industrial loan company (ILC) or industrial bank is a financial institution in the United States that lends money, and may be owned by non-financial institutions. They provide niche financial services nationwide. ILCs offer FDIC-insured deposits and are subject to FDIC and state regulator oversight. All "FDIC-insured entities are subject to Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act, which limits bank transactions with affiliates, including the non-bank parent company." ILCs are permitted to have branches in multiple states (which is permitted by many states on a reciprocal basis). They are regulated and supervised by  state-charters and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. They are authorized to make consumer and commercial loans and accept federally insured deposits. Banks may not accept demand deposits if the bank has total assets greater than $100 million. ILCs are exempted from the Bank Holding Company Act.ILCs assist numerous charities and provide millions of dollars annually in grants, low interest loans, and service through the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).  Currently, only seven states offer an ILC bank charter. Most ILCs have been chartered by the Utah Department of Financial Institutions. Other states permitting ILCs include California, Colorado, Minnesota, Indiana, Hawaii, and Nevada. (Full article...)
    An industrial loan company (ILC) or industrial bank is a financial institution in the United States that lends money, and may be owned by non-financial institutions. They provide niche financial services nationwide. ILCs offer FDIC-insured deposits and are subject to FDIC and state regulator oversight. All "FDIC-insured entities are subject to Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act, which limits bank transactions with affiliates, including the non-bank parent company." ILCs are permitted to have branches in multiple states (which is permitted by many states on a reciprocal basis). They are regulated and supervised by state-charters and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. They are authorized to make consumer and commercial loans and accept federally insured deposits. Banks may not accept demand deposits if the bank has total assets greater than $100 million. ILCs are exempted from the Bank Holding Company Act.

    ILCs assist numerous charities and provide millions of dollars annually in grants, low interest loans, and service through the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Currently, only seven states offer an ILC bank charter. Most ILCs have been chartered by the Utah Department of Financial Institutions. Other states permitting ILCs include California, Colorado, Minnesota, Indiana, Hawaii, and Nevada. (Full article...)
  • Image 9Electronic bill payment is a feature of online, mobile and telephone banking, similar in its effect to a giro, allowing a customer of a financial institution to transfer money from their transaction or credit card account to a creditor or vendor such as a public utility, department store or an individual to be credited against a specific account. These payments are typically executed electronically as a direct deposit through a national payment system, operated by the banks or in conjunction with the government.  Payment is typically initiated by the payer but can also be set up as a direct debit.In addition to the bill payment facility, most banks will also offer various features with their electronic bill payment systems. These include the ability to schedule payments in advance to be made on a specified date (convenient for installments such as mortgage and support payments), to save the biller information for reuse at a future time and various options for searching the recent payment history. In many cases the payment data can also be downloaded and posted directly into the customer's accounting or personal finance software. (Full article...)
    Electronic bill payment is a feature of online, mobile and telephone banking, similar in its effect to a giro, allowing a customer of a financial institution to transfer money from their transaction or credit card account to a creditor or vendor such as a public utility, department store or an individual to be credited against a specific account. These payments are typically executed electronically as a direct deposit through a national payment system, operated by the banks or in conjunction with the government. Payment is typically initiated by the payer but can also be set up as a direct debit.

    In addition to the bill payment facility, most banks will also offer various features with their electronic bill payment systems. These include the ability to schedule payments in advance to be made on a specified date (convenient for installments such as mortgage and support payments), to save the biller information for reuse at a future time and various options for searching the recent payment history. In many cases the payment data can also be downloaded and posted directly into the customer's accounting or personal finance software. (Full article...)
  • Image 10Private banks are banks owned by either the individual or a general partner(s) with limited partner(s). Private banks are not incorporated. In any such case, creditors can look to both the "entirety of the bank's assets" as well as the entirety of the sole-proprietor's/general-partners' assets.These banks have a long tradition in Switzerland, dating back to at least the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685). Private banks also have a long tradition in the UK where C. Hoare & Co. has been in business since 1672. (Full article...)
    Private banks are banks owned by either the individual or a general partner(s) with limited partner(s). Private banks are not incorporated. In any such case, creditors can look to both the "entirety of the bank's assets" as well as the entirety of the sole-proprietor's/general-partners' assets.

    These banks have a long tradition in Switzerland, dating back to at least the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685). Private banks also have a long tradition in the UK where C. Hoare & Co. has been in business since 1672. (Full article...)

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In the news

5 August 2022 – Economic impact of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin signs a decree banning investors from "unfriendly countries" from selling their assets in Russian banks, strategic entities, and energy and commodity projects until December 31. (Reuters)
4 August 2022 – 2021–2022 inflation surge
The Bank of England raises its benchmark interest rate from 1.25% to 1.75% in its largest single rate hike since 1995. (Reuters)

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