The word ‘bank’ is derived from the Italian word ‘banca’, which is derived from the German word for ‘bench’. Moneylenders in Northern Italy originally did business in open areas or open rooms where each lender worked from his own bench or table. The very first banks were probably in religious temples of the ancient world. Greek temples as well as private and civic entities conducted financial transactions such as loans, deposits, currency exchange, and the validation of coinage. Charging interest on loans and paying interest on deposits developed in ancient Rome.

A bank is a financial institution that provides banking services such as accepting deposits and making loans. There are also financial institutions that provide certain banking services without meeting the legal definition of a bank that are called non-banks.

The main functions of a bank include raising funds by attracting deposits, borrowing money in the inter-bank market, and issuing financial instruments in the money market or a securities market and then lending out most of these funds to borrowers including companies, individuals or government. Other services rendered by banks are facilitating international payments, issuing credit cards, provisioning safe locker facilities for valuables, project financing, merchant banking facility, online banking, personal banking, and investment banking. Typically, a bank generates profits from transaction fees on financial services and the interest charges on its loans.

There are several different types of banks including central banks, investment banks, merchant banks, private banks, savings banks, offshore banks, commercial banks, retail banks, and universal banks.

Present day banks need highly qualified, dedicated, and reliable staff because of intense competition from other financial institutions like insurance companies that provide some banking services to the public.

Banking Services

The type of services offered by a bank depends upon the nature of the bank and the country where the bank operates. The services provided by banks usually include checking accounts, saving accounts, and investment advice.

The main function of most banks is directly accepting deposits from the general public and providing check facilities for withdrawal purposes. The provision of the check facilities differentiates banks from other financial institutions.

Lending money to companies, individuals, the government, and other financial institutions is the second major activity of all types of banks. Banks play a vital role in the capital formation of a country through saving and investment functions. They pool the savings of the small investors and general public and utilize the funds by investing the companies or the government.

Banks also render services like facilitating money transactions such as wire transfers and cashiers checks, issuing credit cards and debit cards, and provisioning safe deposit boxes for the storage of valuables. Modern banks also provide sophisticated services like online banking, project financing, leasing, merchant banking, and personal banking. Online banking relieves the customers from time-consuming paper based banking transactions with the help of information technology. Personal banking provides technology-enabled and customized banking products like phone banking and Internet banking.

Banks may undertake merchant banking activities like managing issue of shares, their allotment, and the collection of share amounts on behalf of joint stock companies. Currently, most customers enjoy the benefits of ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) where they can withdraw money from their accounts at any time.

Banking Jobs

Modern banks have highly trained staff for delivering top quality service to customers. Other financial institutions like insurance companies now offer most of the services provided by banks. Owing to this intense competition, banks need top quality staff that is talented, reliable, trustworthy, and communicative. Many banking jobs are in specialist areas such as IT and corporate banking.

Entry-level jobs will probably involve processing checks so that the employee can meet the strict deadlines for overnight delivery to the bank’s head office. These employees are also involved in answering customers’ questions and are the bank’s front line executives.

If the employee shows aptitude and initiative, he or she can become a supervisor, carrying responsibility for his or her own team. Once this employee passes their professional banking exams, he can be in charge of the whole branch. Graduates can expect to be placed on a fast track learning course, spending about two years moving through different jobs within the bank while learning how the bank works before being promoted to a management position. Managers need a wide knowledge of the financial services available and should know when to bring in specialist advisers from other areas of the bank.

All banking staff is expected to attend regular in-house training courses throughout their career to learn about new developments. Working hours of the staff are generally from 9am to 5pm, but working patterns can vary. Some branches will be opened on Saturdays and some are even open on Sundays.

Salaries depend on the roles and responsibilities of the employee and the location of the bank. Most banks operate on an annual appraisal system and salary increments are awarded according to the performance of the employee during the year. Profit sharing, subsidized mortgages, and non-contributory pension schemes form a part of their remuneration package.

There is a tremendous range of opportunities in commercial banking, starting at the branch level. Different job options are Credit Analyst, Loan Officer, Branch Manager, Trust Officer, Mortgage Banker, and other jobs in accounting, marketing and advertising, commercial card operations, securities transfer, wire operations, private banking, cash management services and operations and communications. In the case of investment banking, the job options are manifold in areas like corporate finance, merger and acquisition deals, project financing, derivative financing, international sales, and retail brokerage.

Bank Trust Investments

Bank trust investments are emerging as a major source of investments in the financial market. They compliment investment firms as one of the sources for investing money for profit. Some of the banks are able to make huge profits in this field. Most of the banks offer services for managing the assets of trusts these days. These trusts can be of various types, such as charitable trust, corporate trust, personal trusts etc.

The bank acts as a custodian of assets owned by the trust. The assets may include cash, equities and other investments. The banks manage these investments and often make new investments on behalf of the trust. As many trusts have huge financial resources, which need to be managed properly to make them self-sustainable, the services of professionally qualified experts are needed to manage these financial assets. Most of the good banks offer these services for a fixed fee or on a commission basis. Sometime they charge both.

Bank trust investments are generally made in gilt-edged securities or other government securities, which are relatively safer. These investments are made not for short-term gains but for ensuring a steady stream of income in the long run. The banks keep the trustees and other parties informed about all major decisions related to investments on their behalf. The market risk is generally borne by the trust only.

But there have been several scams in the past related to bank trust investments all over the world. So one has to be careful before giving a bank charge of one’s trust.

Bank Secured Credit Cards

If you have no credit history or are trying to repair your credit standing, a bank-secured credit card is your best option. By ‘securing’ your credit with your own savings account, you can have a fully functional credit card and be sure that you have the ability to pay whatever balances you accumulate. Read on to find out more.

This kind of card looks and works much like a regular credit card, but uses your bank deposit as a guarantee or collateral. Should you be unable to pay the amount due on time, for example, the bank can apply your deposit to your outstanding balance.

A bank secured credit card is perfect for consumers who do not qualify for regular credit cards either because they have no credit history yet, or because they have gone bankrupt and therefore have undesirable credit ratings. Having a bank secured credit card shows the bank that you are financially capable of paying monthly dues. If you use the card responsibly, the bank may eventually provide you with an unsecured credit line.

Because you will only get to charge an amount that corresponds to your deposit, you can be sure that you won’t overspend. If you find yourself unable to pay the balance, for example, the bank simply deducts the payment from your savings account. With a bank-secured credit card, there’s no risk of incurring debts.

But like all other credit cards, the disadvantages of a bank-secured credit card crop up when you use it irresponsibly. If you do not pay on time, for example, you will be faced with high interest fees and late payment charges.

Most bank-secured credit cards only allow limited transaction frequencies, which means you can only use it a specified number of times. The banks use this measure to protect against overdrafts. It is also quite difficult to close a bank-secured credit card x96 you will not get your deposit immediately. The bank will keep your money for a few more billing cycles in order to make sure that no sketchy charges were made.

Bank Credit Cards

Bank credit cards come with huge responsibilities. Your first step to using one wisely is to know how the card works and what duties you have as its user.

A bank credit card allows you to borrow money from a revolving line of credit with a limit, which is determined by the card issuer (the bank). You can use the card to purchase goods or services, like food, clothes, movie tickets, or dinners in a restaurant.

When you use the card to pay for something, you are technically borrowing money from the bank which issued the card to you. You make this ‘loan’ official by signing the receipt when you make a purchase, or inputting the security code found on the back of the card (and in some cases the card’s expiration date) when you are purchasing something over the internet or phone.

Information is your protection against misusing or abusing your card, so be sure to read the terms and conditions of the customer agreement which comes with your bank credit card. The gist: Once you purchase something using the card, you bind yourself pay it either partially or in full on or before the due date. You need to repay at least the minimum amount plus the interest that may have accrued on an unpaid balance once every billing period, in order to keep using your card without running into any legal problems.

Remember that how you use your credit card determines what kind of credit facilities will be available to you in the future. Your credit card history goes into your credit report, which you want to keep in good standing if you plan to take out major loans such as mortgage loans or car loans. You should therefore remember to always pay your credit card bills promptly, keep track of your charges, and not exceed your credit limit. Doing these three things religiously can save you from financial problems.

Bank Checks

When a bank issues a check on its own account to a customer, it is called a bank check. Such checks are issued for payment to a third party and are also variously called as cashier’s check or treasurer’s check. Such checks are generally treated by the law in the same manner as ordinary checks. Many people regard bank checks as equivalent to cash, which it is not. In certain instances a bank check might not be paid. A bank check can be used to purchase large items such as a car.

Bank check payment is often considered an alternative to bank wire transfer. It is ideal for commercial payments between companies. Such checks also find extensive use for the payment of different fees and services. Modern banks issue bank checks even without the customer having an account with the respective bank. The check issue procedure is very simple and takes only a small time to process. Banks also send the issued bank check along with respective attached documents to a check beneficiaries home or business address.

Bank checks are perhaps the most economic way of international money transfer. It is especially convenient when small amounts of money are transferred because it is not necessary to make an extra money transfer. Modern banks sell and collect checks of other banks also, the value of which is denominated in convertible currencies.

Some advantages of bank checks include settlements with foreign partners. Bank checks make it possible to make settlements for products and services with foreign partners, meaning subscription can be made for books or publications, lotteries, goods and education at schools abroad. Even cash gifts can be sent through this way. A bank check is also a very convenient way of settlement if there is little information about beneficiary of the check.

Bank Auto Loans

All banks lend money to individuals or a group of individuals. But all this money given out by the bank is supposed to be returned back to the bank on a few conditions. The foremost condition is that one has to pay the bank debt in easy payment installments over a considerable period of time. The monthly money is charged with an additional amount of money based on a percentage of the actual money. Bank loans have become very common phenomena in the contemporary period where the world is running on financial capital.

Starting from the smallest of families to the biggest companies and corporate sectors, all require money to make their dream fulfilled, to make a plan work in its own way or simply to resolve a problem through money. Usually the bank gives a loan to a person on the basis of a security. For example a person has to have sufficient amount of money in any of his bank accounts. It may also happen that he or she has to keep one of their assets (mostly real estate properties) as a mortgage in order to procure the loan.

Bank auto loans, more popularly known as car loans, are easily available from various banks to facilitate interested individuals to buy cars and automobiles.

Here, the question of security is resolved quite easily as the security for the loan is the car or the automobile itself. In most cases, the car or the automobile for the purchase of which the loan is being taken is itself put as a mortgage. This is the most common option for most of the cases in procuring automobile loans from various banks. Even some cooperative banks also provide such vehicle loans to facilitate the rural masses for buying trucks, boats and even motorcycles. These auto loans come in affordable and competitive rates.


Banjos belong to the string family. Classic banjo music is very popular, as are bluegrass, rock, and country. The banjo has a fun, interesting sound that stands well on its own or can be blended with other instruments. Moreover, there is a lot of music written specifically for the banjo. Banjos are available in four- or five-string varieties. The strings are made of metal or nylon and are fixed at the top of the neck. They are tuned by pegs similar to those on a guitar.

The body of the banjo can be made in a number of ways. Open-backed banjos are popular in the five-string design. Closed-back banjos, which take advantage of the form’s inherent resonance, are also available. Different materials are used to alter the sound or look of the banjo. Inlays in the neck and body of the banjo enhance the decoration. Metal-bodied banjos obviate the effects that weather and moisture have on traditional skin banjos. Presently, banjos have bodies made of plastic. The body of the banjo typically has an eleven- or twelve-inch rim.

The banjo can be played in different styles. Some styles employ finger-picking alone, while others use strumming. Other banjos combine both styles. Traditional styles of playing do not use fingerpicks, but many modern banjoists like the sound that picks create. In general, five-string banjo styles call for finger picking, and four-string banjo styles call for strumming.

There are many different ways of tuning a banjo, depending on the type of music and the sound desired. The number of strings will affect the way a banjo is tuned, and the most popular tuning for a five-string banjo is “dGDBg.” This is the setting commonly used in bluegrass. The four-string banjo is usually tuned to “CGBD.”

Banjos for Sale

Banjos are available online and offline in different styles at different prices. The following article profiles popular banjos for sale: the Rover RB20, RB30 and RB35 models.

The entry-level banjo, RB20, is designed based on the classic open back banjos of the 1930s. It is made with a standard eleven-inch diameter composite rim with twenty-four brackets, 14:1 ratio tuners, with a friction fifth peg, free padded gig bag, an open back composite rim, heavy-duty grooved tension hoop, mahogany neck, and bound rosewood fingerboard. Complete with a bound rosewood fingerboard and a mahogany neck, this entry-level banjo is a very good deal, costing the consumer just under $200.

A step up from entry level banjo is the RB30. This banjo is available with an eleven-inch cast aluminum rim for improved tone and volume, heavy-duty grooved brass tension hoop with triple nickel plating, P-100 1930s style armrest, and P-117 Old Waverly tailpiece. It has a slim, comfortable mahogany neck, adjustable truss rod, East Indian rosewood fingerboard, mother-of-pearl dot markers, standard twenty-five and one-half-scale length, 14:1 ratio geared tuners, white binding, twenty-four brackets, and superior trailpak II bag. The suggested retail price of this model is approximately $219.

An even better version is the RB 35, this banjo features a deluxe, old-style, laminated, multi-ply, arched mahogany resonator, and comes in a slim, comfortable mahogany neck, eleven-inch cast aluminum rim, heavy-duty grooved brass tension hoop, exquisite mahogany neck with east Indian rosewood, P-117 “Old Waverly style” tailpiece, vintage-style, bound mahogany resonator, and an adjustable truss rod. The retail price is $329.