From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search


The Bank of England, established in 1694.

A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates credit. Lending activities can be performed either directly or indirectly through capital markets. Due to their importance in the financial stability of a country, banks are highly regulated in most countries. Most nations have institutionalized a system known as fractional reserve banking under which banks hold liquid assets equal to only a portion of their current liabilities. In addition to other regulations intended to ensure liquidity, banks are generally subject to minimum capital requirements based on an international set of capital standards, known as the Basel Accords.

Banking in its modern sense evolved in the 14th century in the prosperous cities of Renaissance Italy but in many ways was a continuation of ideas and concepts of credit and lending that had their roots in the ancient world. In the history of banking, a number of banking dynasties – notably, the Medicis, the Fuggers, the Welsers, the Berenbergs, and the Rothschilds – have played a central role over many centuries. The oldest existing retail bank is Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, while the oldest existing merchant bank is Berenberg Bank.

Selected banking articles

Selected banks

Did you know...

Need help?

Do you have a question about Banks that you can't find the answer to?

Consider asking it at the Wikipedia reference desk.

Selected images

In the news

19 September 2019 –
Over the last three days, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York adds more than US$200 billion liquidity to the money market, countering a spike in the repo rate on Tuesday. (Business Day)
9 August 2019 –
The International Monetary Fund finds that China's currency, the yuan, has been "broadly stable" against other currencies over the last year. The yuan is pulled down by market pressures due to the slowing economy. Suggesting little intervention by China's central bank, the IMF position is at odds with the designation of China by the U.S. as a currency manipulator. (AP News)



Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






Learning resources



Purge server cache