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Commercial Bank: Definition, Risks and Benefits

Commercial banks are a type of financial institution that serves people’s basic banking necessities. Their services are offered to independent individuals, to large corporations and firms. It started in 1924 at Oglethorpe Country, when a local entrepreneur decided to help their citizens and fellow business owners. They followed a philosophy in managing the bank to provide excellent financial assistance to their community. Commercial banks are also unique and different from other banks. Its services are customized to each customer to provide solutions to different financial concerns. Over the years, commercial banks followed a principle of “customer first, service foremost”, they truly valued each one of their customers and provided them with exceptional service. They have also evolved and adapted to new technology that has allowed them to expand their products and services. Commercial banks are important for their customers, but also for the economy as a whole. Its services cater to everyone without discrimination. Small to medium businesses can acquire financial assistance from a commercial bank as this is their main purpose. Commercial banks also create liquidity in the market as they borrow depositors money and lend it to other customers at agreed interest rates. Services and products are not the only thing a customer can get from the bank. Commercial banks provide benefits to every one of their customers. If commercial banks ceased to exist, there is a great chance of the economy collapsing. Everyone will have a hard time managing their accounts, paying bills, and managing their investments. Businesses will also have a hard time growing their operations.

Listed below are the benefits of a commercial bank for their valued customers.

  • Location: Commercial banks are easy to find anywhere. It has plenty of branches all around a city that is accessible to anyone. 
  • Discounts: Commercial banks usually offer discounts, especially to large companies that buy products in bulk. 
  • Product Offerings: Commercial banks offer and provide a lot of products compared to other financial institutions, such as credit deposits, loans, mortgages, credit, and debit cards. 
  • Online Banking: It is the most efficient and convenient method of banking that is offered by a commercial bank. It can be accessed online and hassle-free without going to the local branch.
  • Electronic Banking: Electronic banking is a way that a user can use their credit or debit cards using an automated teller machine. It enables the user to withdraw money from their accounts and keep track of their transactions 24/7.
Commercial Bank: Definition, Risks and Benefits

What is a Commercial Bank?

Commercial banks are profitable financial institutions that help both individuals and businesses. Basic banking needs including opening, deposits, and checking accounts are among its services. Additionally, ithey enable individuals and businesses to obtain loans, including personal, economic, mortgage, and transportation purposes. For the bank to offer these loans, they hold depositors’ money and offer them higher interest rates on their savings. Commercial banks are essential in the economy as they provide capital, credit, and liquidity in the market. As a result, the economic stability of the economy will be maintained. Commercial banks have no problem adapting to new technology. Commercial banks offer online banking that is accessible and convenient to its users. As Mr. Chris Skinner has said, “By partnering with fintech startups, banks will give their account holders the right measure of security and speed. Account holders can know that their money is safe, and they can enjoy the latest financial technology. This is the way to become a digital bank”. Adapting to technology and providing fast and easy transactions are beneficial to each user.

How does a Commercial Bank work?

Commercial banks work by providing their services to the public. They profit through the products and services fees that they charge their customers. Each product has different interest rates depending on what the customer is applying for it. Their interest is earned through monthly charges, overdraft fees, insufficient funds fees, and safe deposit boxes. Commercial banks mostly gained profits through their loans. They offer many different types of loans to different types of customers. The bank charges additional interest rates for borrowers with lower credit scores. Commercial banks are accessible anywhere as they have plenty of branches around the city in convenient locations. Automated teller machines can also be used 24/7. When customers choose to use a commercial bank, their savings will be secure, they can obtain loans when necessary, and undertake electronic transactions. Individuals can open their account with no fee and lower charges for account maintenance.

How do commercial banks create money?

The products and services that commercial banks offer to the public and corporations create income for them. The service fees and charges, as well as loans, and credit card interest make up most of their income. Using cards like checking accounts, debit, and credit cards swipes are also subject to bank fees. Also, there is a charge for late payments as a penalty, along with overdraft fees. When commercial banks provide loans and lend money to the public. Banks also gain money the interest that they charge. Commercial banks earn more money from credit card holders. There are plenty of account holders that use credit cards. Each of the cardholders pays different interest rates. It usually starts at 16.17% but will change depending on how a cardholder uses the card and their credit history.

How do commercial banks make a profit?

Commercial banks make profit by providing access to financial services. This includes lending money, loans, fee-based banking products, and extra benefits like deposit boxes for valuables. Commercial banks make their profit through interest rates. They charge their account holders interest and fees for account management. Overdraft fees and other debt fees are also charged to the borrowers as a penalty for paying late.

What are the benefits of Commercial Banks?

Using a commercial bank comes with plenty of benefits. This includes the ability to get loans, safe keeping of funds, and electronic transactions. These things are important to get from a bank.A good credit holder can easily be approved for loans, so a good credit score is beneficial for when a loan is required. Funds can also be easily secured and managed. Savings will be secured when deposited in the bank, as the bank is under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in the US and the Financial Services Compensation scheme in the UK. As commercial banks offer new technological banking, account holders can now manage and track their transactions online. Cardholders can also withdraw money using an ATM, anywhere they go.

What are the risks of Commercial Banks?

Risks are accompanied by every corporation, institution and industry. Banks are no exception; it has a variety of risks to consider. Credit risk, market risk, and operational risks are the risks that commercial banks have. Since commercial banks are lenders, they face credit risk. Credit risk means that there is a potential for unpaid loans. Some borrowers will fail to pay what they owe to the bank. It will affect the bank by losing assets and profitability. Moreover, market risk represents the unpredictable markets that consist of interest rates and commodity prices. Commercial banks invest in trading and sales, so it will be exposed to market risk as it changes constantly. Furthermore, operational risk is about the losses and damages of banks caused by its people or own systems.      

What is the Economic Role of Commercial Banks?

Commercial banks have a big effect on the economy as they facilitate the financial system of a country. They also support the flow of the country’s money. When many people deposit their money in commercial banks, it will increase liquidity. If liquidity increases, individuals, and corporations can borrow money from the bank at reduced rates. The effectiveness of the economy can be greatly increased because of financial services. 

What are the differences between Commercial Banks and Investment Banks?

Commercial and investment banks represent both organisations that specialize in generating financial services. However, the qualities of commercial banks and investment banks differ regarding who they serve, what they do, and how they acquire their income. Commercial banks offer their services and products to everyones. While investment banks do not tend to work with individual investors, instead working with other financial services firms. Commercial banks provide basic banking services and loans with interest rates to the public. However, investment banks focus on larger and complicated dealings, such as the buying and selling of bonds as well as stocks. Commercial banks increase profit directly from the interest rates of their services and goods. While, in an investment bank, it charges a fee for the services rendered to its clients.

What are the services offered by Commercial Banking?

Commercial banking offers plenty of services and goods for their account holders. Individuals and small businesses can use the services of commercial banks.

Listed below are the three main services offered by commercial banks.

  • Accepting deposits: Commercial banks accept deposits from individuals. The person will become an account holder of their bank and can benefit from other services they offer. Users with savings will also receive interest. 
  • Card Services: Commercial banks provide cards to their account holders. A credit card can build a credit score just by using the banks’ money and paying it off on time. While, debit cards will allow the account holder to use their savings directly.
  • Loans: Borrowers can apply for whatever loan they want and will be charged interest. Commercial banks offer loans for personal, business, mortgages, and cars.

Do Commercial Banks provide loans?

Yes, commercial banks provide different types of loans depending on what the borrower needs. These banks will also profit from lending money. Commercial banks extend loans for homes, mortgages, cars, and emergencies. These loans are available to borrowers and small businesses. However, each loan comes with different interest rates and will depend on the credit history of the applicant. Usually, good credit scores will benefit from lower interest rates. The bank can reduce interest rates as well as fast approval of applications for stronger applicants. Borrowers with low credit scores will get a loan at much higher rates.

Are Commercial Banks owned by the government?

No, commercial banks are not owned by the government. They are owned by a group of shareholders. It is a profit making institution that allows the shareholders gain from the operating profit. Most government banks are non-profitable and focus on a macroeconomic nature.

Are Commercial Banks regulated?

Yes, Commercial banks are regulated under the General Banking Law and the Federal Reserve. Along with it, depositors money from commercial banks will be secured. It also gives the depositors the assurance that their savings and other assets will be protected from unfortunate situations. It will also avoid banks from making a mistake if they operate the bank on their own terms and ordinances. Furthermore, it will keep the bank in check without any illegal businesses.

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