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Finance is a field that deals with the study of investments. Which includes the dynamics of assets and liabilities over time under conditions of different degrees of uncertainty. Finance can also be defined as the science of money management. A key point in finance is the time value of money, which states that purchasing power of one unit of currency can vary over time. Finance aims to price assets based on their risk level and their expected rate of return. Finance can be broken into three different sub-categories: public finance, corporate finance and personal finance.
A bank is a financial intermediary that creates credit by lending money to a borrower, thereby creating a corresponding deposit on the bank’s balance sheet. Lending activities can be performed either directly or indirectly through capital markets. Due to their importance in the financial system and influence on national economies, 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 requirementsbased on an international set of capital standards, known as the Basel Accords.
Banking in its modern sense evolved in the 14th century in the rich 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 thehistory of banking, a number of banking dynasties — notably, the Medicis, the Fuggers, the Welsers, theBerenbergs and the Rothschilds — have played a central role over many centuries. The oldest existing retail bankis Monte dei Paschi di Siena, while the oldest existing merchant bank is Berenberg Bank.