ROLE OF BANKS
First, they take a leading role in developing other financial intermediaries and markets. Second, due to the absence of well-developed equity and bond markets, the corporate sector depends heavily on banks to meet its financing needs. Finally, in emerging markets such as India, banks cater to the needs of a vast number of savers from the household sector, who prefer assured income and liquidity and safety of funds, because of their inadequate capacity to manage financial risks Definition of banks
'accepting, for the purpose of lending or investment, of deposits of money from the public, repayable on demand or otherwise, and withdrawable, by cheque, draft, order or otherwise three primary activities of a commercial bank
(i) maintaining deposit accounts including current accounts, (ii) issue and pay cheques, and (iii) collect cheques for the bank's customers Functions of Commercial Banks
(i) Payment System
Banks are at the core of the payments system in an economy. A payment refers to the means by which financial transactions are settled. A fundamental method by which banks help in settling the financial transaction process is by issuing and paying cheques issued on behalf of customers. Further, in modern banking, the payments system also involves electronic banking, wire transfers, settlement of credit card transactions, etc. In all such transactions, banks play a critical role. (ii) Financial Intermediation
The second principal function of a bank is to take different types of deposits from customers and then lend these funds to borrowers, in other words, financial intermediation. In financial terms, bank deposits represent the banks' liabilities, while loans disbursed, and investments made by banks are their assets. Bank deposits serve the useful purpose of addressing the needs of depositors, who want to ensure liquidity, safety as well as returns in the form of interest. On the other hand, bank loans and investments made by banks play an important function in channelling funds into profitable as well as socially productive uses. (iii) Financial Services
In addition to acting as financial intermediaries, banks today are increasingly involved with offering customers a wide variety of financial services including investment banking, insurance-related services, government-related business, foreign exchange businesses, wealth management services, etc. Income from providing such services improves a bank's profitability.
Scheduled banks in India are those that are listed in the Second Schedule of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. RBI includes only those banks in this schedule which satisfy the criteria as laid down vide section 42 (6) (a) of the Act. RBI as Bankers' Bank
As the bankers' bank, RBI holds a part of the cash reserves of banks,; lends the banks funds for short periods, and provides them with centralised clearing and cheap and quick remittance facilities. Banks are supposed to meet their shortfalls of cash from sources other than RBI and approach RBI only as a matter of last resort, because RBI as the central bank is supposed to function as only the 'lender of last resort'. To ensure liquidity and solvency of individual commercial banks and of the banking system as a whole, the RBI has stipulated that banks maintain a Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR). The CRR refers to the share of liquid cash that banks have to maintain with RBI of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL).13 CRR is one of the key instruments of controlling money supply. By increasing CRR, the RBI can reduce the funds available with the banks for lending and thereby tighten liquidity in the system; conversely reducing the CRR increases the funds available with the banks and thereby raises liquidity in the financial system.These are mainly deposits. NDTL is discussed in Chapter 3 RBI as supervisor
To ensure a sound banking system in the country, the RBI exercises powers of supervision, regulation and control over commercial...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document