Evolution of Banks in Pakistan

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EVOLUTION OF BANKS IN PAKISTAN

There are different opinions that how the word ‘Bank’ originated. Some of the author’s opinion that this word is derived from the word ‘Bancus’ or Banque’, which means a bench. The explanation of this origin is attributed to the fact that the Jews in Lombard transacted the business of money exchange on benches in the market place; and when the business failed, the people destroyed the ‘bench’. Incidentally the word ‘Bankrupt’s said to have evolved from this practice.

Some of the authors are of opinion that the word ‘Bank’ is derived from the German word back, which means ‘joint stock fund’. Later on when the German occupied major part of the Italy the word ‘Back’ was italicized into ‘Back’.

In fact human left the need of bank when it begins to realize the importance of money as a medium of exchange. Perhaps it where the Babylonian who developed banking system as early as 2000 BC. At that time temples were used as banks because of their prevalent respect. During the rule of king Hamurabi (1788 – 1686 BC) the founder of Babylonians Empire, loans were started being granted for interest. The borrower has to provide guarantee or he had to pledge his goods or valuables. King Hamurabi drew up a code wherein he laid down standards rules for procedures for banking operations by temples and great landowners. Also in Greece, the temples were used as banks, where the people deposited their money and other valuables for safe custody and security. In Europe with the ‘revival of civilization’ (Renaissance) in the middle of twelve century, trade and commerce started expanding and this development compelled the business community to borrow the money from the Hebrew money lenders on high rates of interest and usury. Seeing the great demand, these moneylenders started organizing themselves and bank started up at the principle seaports of southern Europe. Soon Venice and Geneva became the most important money markets of the time and banking though different from its present form, flourished. What we know as ‘modern banking’ originated in the 14th century in Barcelona.1

2.1 Definitions of Bank

“Bank”

"A financial institution, which deals with money and credit. It accepts

Deposits from individuals, firms and companies at a lower rate of

Interest and gives at higher rate of interest to those who need them.”2

A financial establishment which uses money deposited by customers for investment, pays it out when required, makes loan at interest, exchanges currency, etc.

J.W Gilbert in his principles and practice banking defines a banker in these words:

“A banker is dealer in capital or more properly, a dealer in money. He is intermediate party between the borrower and the lender. He borrows of one and lends to another”.3

Sir John Paget defines banker in these terms:

“That no person or body, corporate or otherwise, can be a banker who does not

❑ Take deposits accounts.

❑ Take current accounts,

❑ Issue and pay Cheques and

❑ Collect Cheques crossed and uncrossed for his customers”4 (The law of Banking by Sir John Paged, page 51).

The American defined the term banker in a very broad sense as under:

“By banking, we mean the business of dealing in credits and by a ‘Bank’ we include every person, firm or company having a place of business where credits are opened by deposits of collection of money or currency. Subjects to be paid or remitted on Cheques or order, money is advanced or loaned on stocks, bonds, bullion, bill of exchange, promissory notes are received for discount or sale”.5

2.2 Evolution of Banking in Pakistan

The first phase in evolution of banking in Pakistan sees very hard days for the whole banking sector. Starting virtually from scratch in 1947, the country today possesses a full range of banking and financial institutions to cope with various needs of the economy.

The area now constituting Pakistan was, relatively...
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