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BANKS

A central bank issues money on behalf of a government, and regulates the money supply
A commercial bank accepts deposits and channels those deposits into lending activities, either directly or through capital markets. A bank connects customers with capital deficits to customers with capital surpluses on the world's open financial markets.
A savings bank, also known as a building society in Britain is only allowed to borrow and save from members of a financial cooperative

Banks often start as microcredit or savings clubs which become formalized, first as credit unions and later savings banks which transform themselves from cooperatives to limited liability companies. A fuller description of these forms appears below.

Banking is generally a highly regulated industry, and government restrictions on financial activities by banks have varied over time and location. The current set of global bank capital standards are called Basel II. In some countries such as Germany, banks have historically owned major stakes in industrial corporations while in other countries such as the United States banks are prohibited from owning non-financial companies. In Japan, banks are usually the nexus of a cross-share holding entity known as the keiretsu. In Iceland banks had very light regulation prior to the 2008 collapse.

The oldest bank still in existence is Monte dei Paschi di Siena, headquartered in Siena, Italy, and has been operating continuously since 1472.

Banking in the modern sense of the word can be traced to medieval and early Renaissance Italy, to the rich cities in the north like Florence, Venice and Genoa. The Bardi and Peruzzi families dominated banking in 14th century Florence, establishing branches in many other parts of Europe.[2] Perhaps the most famous Italian bank was the Medici bank, set up by Giovanni Medici in 1397.[3] The earliest known state deposit bank, Banco di San Giorgio (Bank of St. George), was founded in 1407 at Genoa, Italy.[4]

Banks can be traced back to ancient times even before money when temples were used to store commodities. During the 3rd century AD, banks in Persia and other territories in the Persian Sassanid Empire issued letters of credit known as Ṣakks.[citation needed] Muslim traders are known to have used the cheque or ṣakk system since the time of Harun al-Rashid (9th century) of the Abbasid Caliphate. In the 9th century, a Muslim businessman could cash an early form of the cheque in China drawn on sources in Baghdad,[5][verification needed] a tradition that was significantly strengthened in the 13th and 14th centuries, during the Mongol Empire.[citation needed] Fragments found in the Cairo Geniza indicate that in the 12th century cheques remarkably similar to our own were in use, only smaller to save costs on the paper. They contain a sum to be paid and then the order "May so and so pay the bearer such and such an amount". The date and name of the issuer are also apparent.
[edit] Origin of the word

The word bank was borrowed in Middle English from Middle French banque, from Old Italian banca, from Old High German banc, bank "bench, counter". Benches were used as desks or exchange counters during the Renaissance by Florentine bankers, who used to make their transactions atop desks covered by green tablecloths.[6]

The earliest evidence of money-changing activity is depicted on a silver Greek drachm coin from ancient Hellenic colony Trapezus on the Black Sea, modern Trabzon, c. 350–325 BC, presented in the British Museum in London. The coin shows a banker's table (trapeza) laden with coins, a pun on the name of the city. In fact, even today in Modern Greek the word Trapeza (Τράπεζα) means both a table and a bank.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
             
 
             
 
             
 
 
 
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