Banking Industry

Commercial Bank vs. Thrift Institution
Commercial banks are considered to be the largest group of depository institutions when measured by asset size; they are very distinguishable from savings institutions and credit unions in the size, regulation and composition of their loans and deposits. Deposits are the main source of funding for commercial banks while their liabilities may include various non-deposit funds such as subordinated notes and debentures.
Commercial banks have two main assets on their balance sheet; loans and investment securities. Loans are responsible for the majority of assets held by commercial banks and are considered to be the most important revenue generator. The four main types of commercial bank loans are; business loans, real-estate loans, individual loans, and various other loans, which may be loans to emerging countries. Real-estate loans rank as the largest asset of the four main types of loans. Investment securities represent the second major asset on a commercial bank balance sheet. These consist of items such as; interest bearing deposit purchases from other financial institutions, federal funds sold to other banks, repurchase agreements and U.S. Treasury securities, just to mention a few. Investment securities benefit commercial banks in liquidity management, generation of interest income, low default risk and are effectively traded in the secondary market. Due to the high levels of liquidity risk for commercial banks, they usually hold large amounts of cash and investment securities in order to meet the claims of their liability customers, upon liquidation. In the event of loan default the losses are charged off against the bank equity, thus reducing retained earnings and the equity of the bank.
Commercial banks have two main sources of funds, deposits and borrowed money, which are represented as liabilities on their balance sheet. Deposit accounts are comprised of four major …

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