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Banking and Finance Terminology



There are various terms we hear in Banking and Finance Offices and news papers in our day to day life. Those terms are not only using in the offices but also appearing in almost all bank exams to test the awareness of the aspirant. Taking look into the terminology of Banking and Finance boost your knowledge and helps to answer the questions in the exams and day to day life too.

Repo Rate:
Repo rate is the rate at which banks borrow funds from the RBI to meet the gap between the demands they are facing for money (loans) and how much they have on hand to lend.
If the RBI wants to make it more expensive for the banks to borrow money, it increases the repo rate; similarly, if it wants to make it cheaper for banks to borrow money, it reduces the repo rate. From RBI point of view it is called a short term lending and from banks point of view it is called short term borrowing.


Reverse Repo Rate:
This is the exact opposite of repo rate. The rate at which RBI borrows money from the banks (or banks lend money to the RBI) is termed the reverse repo rate.
The RBI uses this tool when it feels there is too much money floating in the banking system. If the reverse repo rate is increased, it means the RBI will borrow money from the bank and offer them a lucrative rate of interest. As a result, banks would prefer to keep their money with the RBI (which is absolutely risk free) instead of lending it out (this option comes with a certain amount of risk) consequently, banks would have lesser funds to lend to their  customers. From RBI point of view it is called a short term borrowing and from banks point of view it is called a short term lending.
Reverse repo rate signifies the rate at which the central bank absorbs liquidity from the banks, while repo signifies the rate at which liquidity is injected.


What is bank rate?
This is the rate at which RBI lends money to other banks (or) financial institutions. The bank rate signals the central bank’s long-term outlook on interest rates. If the bank rate moves up, long-term interest rates also tend to move up, and vice-versa.
Banks make a profit by borrowing at a lower rate and lending the same funds at a higher rate of interest. If the RBI hikes the bank rate (this is currently 9 per cent), the interest that a bank pays for borrowing money (banks borrow money either from each other or from the RBI) increases. It, in turn, hikes its own lending rates to ensure it continues to make a profit.

What is Call Rate?
Call rate is the interest rate paid by the banks for lending and borrowing for daily fund requirement. Since banks need funds on a daily basis, they lend to and borrow from other banks according to their daily or short-term requirements on a regular basis.

What is CRR?
Cash Reserve Ratio, refers to a portion of deposits (as cash) which banks have to keep/maintain with the RBI. This serves two purposes. It ensures that a portion of bank deposits is totally risk-free and secondly it enables that RBI control liquidity in the system, and thereby, inflation by tying their hands in lending money.

What is SLR?
Besides the CRR, banks are required to invest a portion of their deposits in government securities as a part of their statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) requirements. What SLR does is again restrict the bank’s leverage in pumping more money into the economy.

NFS (National Financial Switch): It facilitates interconnectivity between banks’ switches and interbank payment Gateway for authentication & routing the payment details of various E-commerce & E-Govt. activities (Retail Banking). Now NFS has been overtaken by NPCI (National Payment Corporation of India).

SLR (Statutory Liquidity Ratio): This is a minimum Reserve which every bank has to maintain with itself in the most liquid form to meet any demand of the depositors. Normally Government securities are purchased to maintain SLR.

Prime Lending Rate (PLR): The term originally indicates the rate of interest at which a bank lends to favored customers, i.e. those with high credibility, though this is no longer always the case. Some variable interest rates may be expressed as a percentage above or below prime rate.

Bank Ombudsman: Bank Ombudsman is the authority to look into complaints against Banks in the main areas of collection of cheque / bills, issue of demand drafts, nonadherence to prescribed hours of working, failure to honour guarantee / letter of credit commitments, operations in deposit accounts and also in the areas of loans and advances where banks flout directions / instructions of RBI.

Bancassurance: Bancassurance refers to the distribution of insurance products and the insurance policies of insurance companies which may be life policies or non-life policies by banks as corporate agents through their branches by charging a fee.

Banking: Accepting for the purpose of lending or investment of deposits of money from Public, Repayable on demand or otherwise and withdrawable by cheques, drafts, order, etc.

Bank Draft: Banker's draft is a negotiable claim drawn upon a bank. Drafts are as good as cash. The drafts cannot be returned and unpaid. Draft is issued when a customer shows his unwillingness to accept cheque in payment for his services or mercantile goods. Bank Draft is safer than a cheque.

Basel-II: The Committee on Banking Regulations and Supervisory Practices, popularity known as Basel Committee, submitted its revised version of norms in June, 2004.
Under the revised accord the capital requirement is to be calculated for credit, market and operational risks. The minimum requirement continues to be 8% of capital fund (Tier I & II Capital) Tier II shall continue to be not more than 100% of Tier I Capital.

Bull: Bull is that type of speculator who gains with the rise in prices of shares and stocks.
He buys share or commodities in anticipation of rising prices and sells them later at a profit.

Cheque Bounce: Where an account does not have sufficient balance to honour the cheque issued by the customer, the cheque is returned by the bank with the reason "funds insufficient" or "Exceeds arrangement". This is known as 'Bouncing of a cheque'.

Certificate of Deposit: Certificates of Deposit are negotiable receipts in bearer form which can be freely traded among investors. This is also a money market instrument, issued for a period ranging from 7 days to f one year .The minimum deposit amount is Rs. 1 lakh and they are transferable by endorsement and delivery.

Cheque: Cheque is a bill of exchange drawn on a specified banker ordering the banker to pay a certain sum of money to the drawer of cheque or another person. Money is generally withdrawn by clients by cheques. Cheque is always payable on demand.

Cheque Truncation: Cheque truncation truncates or stops the flow of cheques through the banking system. Generally truncation takes place at the collecting branch, which sends the electronic image of the cheques to the paying branch through the clearing house and stores the paper cheques with it.

Co-operative Bank: An association of persons who collectively own and operate a bank for the benefit of consumers / customers.

Core Banking Solutions (CBS): Core Banking Solutions is a buzz word in Indian banking at present, where branches of the bank are connected to a central host and the customers of connected branches can do banking at any breach with core banking facility.

Call Money: Inter Bank call market is a part of the domestic money market from where banks borrowed and lent for one day called as Money at call and for a period more than 1day & up to 14days is called Short notice or Notice money without any collateral security. Money lended for 15days or more is called Term money. Normally funds are borrowed for 1 day and up to 3 days on weekends just to balance the Cash Reserve Ratio.

Nostro Account: When national bank is opened in foreign with currency is known as Nostro a/c.
e.g. State Bank India branch in USA.

CIBIL (Credit Information Bureau India Limited): CIBIL is an effective mechanism for exchange of information between banks and Financial Institutions for curbing the growth of NPAs.

Crossing of Cheques: Crossing refers to drawing two parallel lines across the face of the cheque. A crossed cheque cannot be paid in cash across the counter, and is to be paid through a bank either by transfer, collection or clearing. A general crossing means that cheque can be paid through any bank and a special crossing, where the name of a bank is indicated on the cheque, can be paid only through the named bank.

Current Account: Current account with a bank can be opened generally for business purpose. There are no restrictions on withdrawals in this type of account. No interest is paid in this type of account.

Debit Card: A plastic card issued by banks to customers to withdraw money electronically from their accounts. When you purchase things on the basis of Debit Card the amount due is debited immediately to the account.

Debtor: A person who takes some money on loan from another person.

Demand Deposits: Deposits which are withdrawn on demand by customers.
E.g.: Savings bank and current account deposits.

Demat Account: When a depository company takes paper shares from an investor and converts them in electronic form through the concerned company, it is called Dematerialization of Shares. These converted Share Certificates in Electronic form are kept in a Demat Account by the Depository Company, like a bank keeps money in a deposit account. Investor can withdraw the shares or purchase more shares through this Demat Account.

Dishonour of Cheque: Non-payment of a cheque by the paying banker with a return memo giving reasons for the non-payment.

Debit Card: A plastic card issued by banks to customers to withdraw money electronically from their accounts. When you purchase things on the basis of Debit Card the amount due is debited immediately to the account. Many banks issue Debit-Cum- ATM Cards.

Debtor: A person who takes some money on loan from another person.

Demand Deposits: Deposits which are withdrawn on demand by customers.
E.g. savings bank and current account deposits.

Demat Account: Demat Account concept has revolutionized the capital market of India.
When a depository company takes paper shares from an investor and converts them in electronic form through the concerned company, it is called Dematerialization of Shares. These converted Share Certificates in Electronic form are kept in a Demat Account by the Depository Company, like a bank keeps money in a deposit account. Investor can withdraw the shares or purchase more shares through this Demat Account.

E-Banking: E-Banking or electronic banking is a form of banking where funds are transferred through exchange of electronic signals between banks and financial institution and customers. ATMs, Credit Cards, Debit Cards, International Cards, Internet Banking and new fund transfer devices like SWIFT, RTGS belong to this category.

EFT - (Electronic Fund Transfer): EFT is a device to facilitate automatic transmission and processing of messages as well as funds from one bank branch to another bank branch and even from one branch of a bank to a branch of another bank. EFT allows transfer of funds electronically with debit and credit to relative accounts.

Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce): E-Commerce is the paperless commerce where the exchange of business takes place by Electronic means.

Endorsement: When a Negotiable Instrument contains, on the back of the instrument an endorsement, signed by the holder or payee of an order instrument, transferring the title to the other person, it is called endorsement.

Indemnity: Indemnity is a bond where the indemnifier undertakes to reimburse the beneficiary from any loss arising due to his actions or third party actions.

Insolvent: Insolvent is a person who is unable to pay his debts as they mature, as his liabilities are more than the assets. Civil Courts declare such persons insolvent. Banks do not open accounts of insolvent persons as they cannot enter into contract as per law.

International Banking: involves more than two nations or countries. If an Indian Bank has branches in different countries like State Bank of India, it is said to do International Banking.

Kiosk Banking: Doing banking from a cubicle from which food, newspapers, tickets etc. are also sold.

KYC Norms: Know your customer norms are imposed by RBI on banks and other financial institutions to ensure that they know their customers and to ensure that customers deal only in legitimate banking operations and not in money laundering or frauds.

Letter of Credit: A document issued by importers bank to its branch or agent abroad authorizing the payment of a specified sum to a person named in Letter of Credit (usually exporter from abroad).

Mandate: Written authority issued by a customer to another person to act in his behalf,  to sign cheques or to operate a bank account.

Merchant Banking : When a bank provides to a customer various types of financial services like accepting bills arising out of trade, arranging and providing underwriting, new issues, providing advice, information or assistance on starting new business, acquisitions, mergers and foreign exchange.

Micro Finance: Micro Finance aims at alleviation of poverty and empowerment of weaker sections in India. In micro finance, very small amounts are given as credit to poor in rural, semi-urban and urban areas to enable them to raise their income levels and improve living standards.

Money Laundering: When a customer uses banking channels to cover up his suspicious and unlawful financial activities, it is called money laundering.

Money Market: Money market is not an organized market like Bombay Stock Exchange but is an informal network of banks, financial institutions who deal in money market instruments of short term like CP, CD and Treasury bills of Government.

Mortgage: Transfer of an interest in specific immovable property for the purpose of offering a security for taking a loan or advance from another. It may be existing or future debt or performance of an agreement which may create monetary obligation for the transferor (mortgagor).

Negotiation: In the context of banking, negotiation means an act of transferring or assigning a money instrument from one person to another person in the course of business.

NPA Account: If interest and installments and other bank dues are not paid in any loan account within a specified time limit, it will be treated as non-performing assets of a bank.

Pass Book: A record of all debit and credit entries in a customer's account. Generally all banks issue pass books to Savings Bank/Current Account Holders.

Plastic Money: Credit Cards, Debit Cards, ATM Cards and International Cards are considered plastic money as they can enable us to get goods and services like the money do.

Pledge: A bailment of goods as security for payment of a debt or performance of a promise, e.g. pledge of stock by a borrower to a banker for a credit limit. Pledge can be made in movable goods only.

Post-dated Cheque: It is a cheque that bears the date which is subsequent to the date when it is drawn. For example, a cheque drawn on 25th of September, 2014 bears the date of 29th September, 2014.

Power of Attorney: It is a document executed by one person - Donor or Principal, in favour of another person, Donee or Agent - to act on behalf of the former, strictly as per authority given in the document.

Promissory Note: Promissory Note is a promise / undertaking given by one person in writing to another person, to pay to that person, a certain sum of money on demand or on a future day.

Public Sector Bank: A bank fully or partly owned by the Government.

Teller: Teller is a staff member of a bank who accepts deposits, cash, cheques and performs other banking services for the public.

Virtual Banking: Virtual banking is also called internet banking, through which financial and banking services are accessed via internet's World Wide Web. It is called virtual banking because an internet bank has no boundaries of brick and mortar and it exists only on the internet.



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