A bank is a financial institution and a financial intermediary that accepts deposits and channels those deposits into lending activities, either directly by loaning or indirectly through capital markets. A bank is the connection between customers that have capital deficits and customers with capital surpluses.
Due to their influence within a financial system and an economy, banks are generally highly regulated in most countries. Most banks operate under a system known as fractional reserve banking where they hold only a small reserve of the funds deposited and lend out the rest for profit. They are generally subject to minimum capital requirements which are based on an international set of capital standards, known as the Basel Accords.
The oldest bank still in existence is Monte dei Paschi di Siena, headquartered in Siena, Italy, which has been operating continuously since 1472. It is followed by Berenberg Bank of Hamburg (1590) and Sveriges Riksbank of Sweden (1668).
Banking in its modern sense evolved in rich cities of Renaissance Italy, such as Florence, Venice and Genoa. In the history of banking, a number of banking dynasties—among them notably Medici, Fugger, Welser, Berenberg, Baring and Rothschild—have played a central role over many centuries.
Other articles related to "bank":
... Xiamen International Bank (XIB) (simplified Chinese 厦门国际银行 traditional Chinese 廈門國際銀行 pinyin Xiàmén Guójì Yínháng) was established in August 1985 as the first joint venture ...
Famous quotes containing the word bank:
“We bank over Boston. I am safe. I put on my hat.
I am almost someone going home. The story has ended.”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)
“The prairies were dust. Day after day, summer after summer, the scorching winds blew the dust and the sun was brassy in a yellow sky. Crop after crop failed. Again and again the barren land must be mortgaged for taxes and food and next years seed. The agony of hope ended when there was not harvest and no more credit, no money to pay interest and taxes; the banker took the land. Then the bank failed.”
—Rose Wilder Lane (18861968)
“on a May morwening upon Malverne hilles
Me befel a ferly, of fairye me thoughte;
I was wery ofwandred and wente me to reste
Under a brod bank by a bournes side;
And as I lay and lenede and lookede on the watres,
I slomerede into a sleeping, it swyede so merye.”
—William Langland (13301400)