Introduction to Banking Sector

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CHAPTER 1 AN OVERVIEW OF THE BANKING SECTOR SECTION – I: BANKING SYSTEM IN INDIA 1.1 Introduction [1] [2] A bank is a financial institution that provides banking and other financial services to their customers. A bank is generally understood as an institution which provides fundamental banking services such as accepting deposits and providing loans. There are also nonbanking institutions that provide certain banking services without meeting the legal definition of a bank. Banks are a subset of the financial services industry. A banking system also referred as a system provided by the bank which offers cash management services for customers, reporting the transactions of their accounts and portfolios, through out the day. The banking system in India, should not only be hassle free but it should be able to meet the new challenges posed by the technology and any other external and internal factors. For the past three decades, India’s banking system has several outstanding achievements to its credit. The Banks are the main participants of the financial system in India. The Banking sector offers several facilities and opportunities to their customers. All the banks safeguards the money and valuables and provide loans, credit, and payment services, such as checking accounts, money orders, and cashier’s cheques. The banks also offer investment and insurance products. As a variety of models for cooperation and integration among finance industries have emerged, some of the traditional distinctions between banks, insurance companies, and securities firms have diminished. In spite of these changes, banks continue to maintain and perform their primary role—accepting deposits and lending funds from these deposits.


1.2 Need of the Banks Before the establishment of banks, the financial activities were handled by money lenders and individuals. At that time the interest rates were very high. Again there were no security of public savings and no uniformity regarding loans. So as to overcome such problems the organized banking sector was established, which was fully regulated by the government. The organized banking sector works within the financial system to provide loans, accept deposits and provide other services to their customers. The following functions of the bank explain the need of the bank and its importance: • • • • • To provide the security to the savings of customers. To control the supply of money and credit To encourage public confidence in the working of the financial system, increase savings speedily and efficiently. To avoid focus of financial powers in the hands of a few individuals and institutions. To set equal norms and conditions (i.e. rate of interest, period of lending etc) to all types of customers 1.3 History of Indian Banking System [6] [7]

The first bank in India, called The General Bank of India was established in the year 1786. The East India Company established The Bank of Bengal/Calcutta (1809), Bank of Bombay (1840) and Bank of Madras (1843). The next bank was Bank of Hindustan which was established in 1870. These three individual units (Bank of Calcutta, Bank of Bombay, and Bank of Madras) were called as Presidency Banks. Allahabad Bank which was established in 1865, was for the first time completely run by Indians. Punjab National Bank Ltd. was set up in 1894 with head quarters at Lahore. Between 1906 and 1913, Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Indian Bank, and Bank of Mysore were set up. In 1921, all presidency banks were amalgamated to


form the Imperial Bank of India which was run by European Shareholders. After that the Reserve Bank of India was established in April 1935.

At the time of first phase the growth of banking sector was very slow. Between 1913 and 1948 there were approximately 1100 small banks in India. To streamline the functioning and activities of commercial banks, the Government of India came up with the Banking Companies Act, 1949...
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