Deposit is the blood of a bank and bank is the blood of an economy – justification,
Besides performing the usual commercial banking functions, banks in developing countries play an effective role in their economic development. The majority of people in such countries are poor, unemployed and engaged in traditional agriculture.
There is an acute shortage of capital. People lack initiative and enterprise. Means of transport are undeveloped. The industry is depressed. The commercial banks help in overcoming these obstacles and promoting economic development. The role of a commercial bank in a developing country is discussed is under.
(a) Mobilizing Saving for Capital Formation:
The commercial banks help in mobilizing savings through a network of branch banking. People in developing countries have low incomes but the banks induce them to save by introducing a variety of deposit schemes to suit the needs of individual depositors. They also mobilize idle savings of the few rich. By mobilizing savings, the banks channelize them into productive investments. Thus they help in the capital formation of a developing country.
(b) Financing Industry:
The commercial banks finance the industrial sector in a number of ways. They provide short-term, medium-term and long-term loans to industry. In India, they provide short-term loans. Income of the Latin American countries like Guatemala, they advance medium-term loans for one to three years. But in Korea, the commercial banks also advance long-term loans to industry.
In India, commercial banks undertake short-term and medium-term financing of small-scale industries, and also provide hire-purchase finance. Besides, they underwrite the shares and debentures of large-scale industries. Thus they not only provide finance for the industry but also help in developing the capital market which is undeveloped in such countries.
(c) Financing Trade:
The commercial banks help in financing both internal and external trade. The banks provide loans to retailers and wholesalers to stock goods in which they deal. They also help in the movement of goods from one place to another by providing all types of facilities such as discounting and accepting bills of exchange, providing overdraft facilities, issuing drafts, etc. Moreover, they finance both exports and imports of developing countries by providing foreign exchange facilities to importers and exporters of goods.
(d) Financing Agriculture:
The commercial banks help the large agricultural sector in developing countries in a number of ways. They provide loans to traders in agricultural commodities. They open a network of branches in rural areas to provide agricultural credit. They provide finance directly to agriculturists for the marketing of their produce, for the modernization and mechanization of their farms for providing irrigation facilities, for developing land, etc.
They also provide financial assistance for animal husbandry, dairy farming, sheep breeding, poultry farming, pisciculture, and horticulture. The small and marginal, farmers and landless agricultural workers, artisans and petty shopkeepers in rural areas are provided financial assistance through the regional rural banks in India. These regional rural banks operate, under a commercial bank. Thus the commercial banks meet the credit requirements of all types of rural people.
(e) Financing Consumer Activities:
People in underdeveloped countries being poor and having low incomes do not possess sufficient financial resources to buy durable consumer goods. The commercial banks advance loans to consumers for the purchase of such items as houses, scooters, fans, refrigerators, etc., this way, they also help in raising the standard of living of the people in developing countries by providing loans for consumptive activities.
(f) Financing Employment Generating Activities:
The commercial banks finance employment generating activities in developing countries. They provide loans for the education of young person’s studying in engineering, medical and other vocational institutes of higher learning. They advance loans to young entrepreneurs, medical and engineering graduates, and other technically trained persons in establishing their own business. Such loan facilities are being provided by a number of commercial banks. Thus the banks not only help inhuman capital formation but also in increasing entrepreneur activities in developing countries.
(g) Help in Monetary Policy:
The commercial banks help the economic development of a country by faithfully following the monetary policy of the central bank. In fact, the central bank depends upon the commercial banks for the success of its policy of monetary management in keeping with requirements of a developing economy.
Thus the commercial banks contribute much to the growth of a developing economy by granting loans to agriculture, trade, and industry, by helping in physical and human capital formation and by following the monetary policy of the country.