The importance of banking in 2024

3rd February 2024 by Pratik Mitra | IT & Telecom

Importance of Banking

Banking, how does it work?

The fundamental operations of banking revolve around the management of financial assets, a practice that traces its origins back to ancient times, albeit with a scope far beyond the mere safekeeping of gold coins for affluent patrons. At its core, a bank initiates its role by accepting deposits from individuals or businesses, assuring depositors that their funds can be withdrawn at their discretion, possibly subject to penalties for early withdrawal. Depending on the account type, the bank may also provide interest on the deposited amount. Subsequently, the bank leverages the funds acquired through deposits by extending loans to other individuals and businesses, generating interest income from borrowers. The profitability of banks hinges on the margin between the interest paid to depositors for the use of their funds and the higher interest rates charged to borrowers.

Nevertheless, regulatory measures mandate that banks maintain a certain amount of capital in reserve, ensuring liquidity to cover withdrawals and address other financial obligations. While the specifics of these regulations may vary based on factors such as the size of the bank, recent trends in the United States, for instance, have seen large banks mandated to uphold reserves amounting to at least 8% of their capital, a figure subject to periodic adjustments and regulatory updates.

The concept of banking encompasses a comprehensive system of financial institutions, including banks and credit unions, dedicated to delivering a diverse array of financial services to individuals, businesses, and governmental entities. The spectrum of banking services predominantly involves the acceptance of deposits, the provision of loans, facilitation of transactions, and the introduction of an assortment of financial products such as savings accounts, loans, and credit cards. In essence, banking institutions play a pivotal role in facilitating economic activities by acting as intermediaries that manage funds, extend credit, and enable the smooth flow of financial transactions within the broader economy.


As we look ahead to 2024, the global Banking market is poised for substantial growth, with the projected Net Interest Income reaching an impressive US$5.8tn. Traditional Banks are set to dominate this market, contributing significantly with an anticipated market volume of US$5.0tn during the same period. Forecasting into the future, the Net Interest Income is expected to demonstrate a robust annual growth rate (CAGR 2024-2028) of 3.90%. This trajectory is anticipated to culminate in a remarkable market volume of US$6.8tn by the year 2028. On a global scale, it is noteworthy that the United States is projected to lead in Net Interest Income generation, contributing a substantial amount of US$877.4bn in 2024. Despite prevailing global economic challenges, the banking sector worldwide persists in its commitment to innovation and adaptation, particularly through digital transformation initiatives. This strategic evolution is geared towards meeting the dynamic and evolving needs of customers, underscoring the resilience and adaptability of the banking industry across countries.

NAVIGATION: Navigating the intricate shifts within the global economy presents a formidable challenge for the banking industry in 2024. A decelerating global economy, combined with a diverse economic landscape, introduces novel complexities. Despite concerted efforts to curb inflation proving successful in various nations, the banking sector faces heightened risks stemming from disruptions in supply chains, evolving trade relationships, and persistent geopolitical tensions, all of which have the potential to impede global economic growth. The specter of extreme weather events, ranging from floods and heatwaves to hurricanes, adds an additional layer of uncertainty, capable of triggering severe economic disruptions. Against this backdrop, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects a modest world economic growth rate of no more than 3.0% in 2024. Advanced economies, including the United States, the Euro area, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Canada, are expected to witness tepid growth at 1.4% in 2024. In contrast, many emerging economies are poised for more robust growth driven by strong consumer demand, youthful demographics, and improving trade balances. Notably, India is anticipated to exhibit one of the highest growth rates at 6.3% in 2024. However, challenges persist, especially in China, where a potential economic slowdown, characterized by weak consumer demand and distressed property markets, looms. The ripple effects of China's economic challenges may extend beyond its borders, impacting global supply chain dynamics and further weakening the overall global recovery. Efforts by China to revive consumer and corporate confidence could have significant implications for economic growth in Asia and beyond.

The IMF predicts a decline in global inflation to 5.2% in 2024, down from its peak at 8.7% in 2022. Despite signs of deceleration in the labor market and consumer spending in countries like the United States, inflation remains elevated, challenging central banks' targets. In fact, the IMF anticipates that inflation in most countries will persist above target rates.

Central banks are expected to fine-tune their monetary policies throughout 2024. The Federal Reserve in the United States foresees the federal funds rate remaining elevated at or above 550 basis points, potentially dropping to the range of 450 to 500 basis points in the latter half of 2024. The European Central Bank (ECB) is set to initiate a decrease in interest rates, while the Bank of England and the Bank of Canada are expected to lower their policy rates. Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan, while maintaining a near-zero policy rate, has signaled adjustments to its bond yield curve control schemes to address price pressures more responsively. Despite these nuanced adjustments, central banks globally are engaging in quantitative tightening measures, contracting the global money supply. In the United States, the money supply, measured by M2, has experienced its most rapid contraction since the 1930s. These intricate economic dynamics underscore the need for financial institutions to adopt strategic and adaptive approaches in navigating the ever-evolving contours of the global economy in 2024.

In India, banks play a pivotal role in providing an extensive array of financial services that cater to the diverse needs of individuals and businesses. These services encompass traditional offerings such as savings and checking accounts, as well as a broad spectrum of financial products and electronic banking options. Some of the primary functions and services provided by banks in India are outlined below:

1. Secure Depository: In 2019, a young entrepreneur in Mumbai started a small tech business. With the initial funding from family and friends, the entrepreneur opened a business account with a leading Indian bank. The bank provided a secure depository for the company's funds, allowing for easy access and withdrawal. This facilitated the smooth operation of daily transactions, and as the business grew, the entrepreneur could confidently manage finances through the bank's secure platform.

2. Lending Support: A family in Delhi aspired to own a home. They approached a prominent Indian bank for a home loan. The bank conducted a thorough assessment of their financial situation and offered a customized home loan package. With the bank's support, the family successfully purchased their dream home. The structured repayment plan provided by the bank eased the financial burden on the family, showcasing the bank's role in lending for significant life milestones.

3. Transaction Facilitation: A textile exporter in Ahmedabad relies on timely and efficient transactions for international trade. The exporter partnered with a bank that offered robust transaction facilitation services. The bank facilitated seamless electronic transfers and provided a secure platform for managing payments through letters of credit. This streamlined process helped the exporter establish trust with international clients and enhance the efficiency of cross-border transactions.

4. Foreign Exchange Services: A couple planning an international vacation approached their local bank in Bangalore for foreign exchange services. The bank offered competitive exchange rates and provided a range of currencies for the trip. The couple could easily buy and exchange foreign currencies through the bank, ensuring a hassle-free travel experience and demonstrating the convenience of such services.

5. Safe Deposit Boxes: A jewelry designer in Jaipur, dealing in high-value gemstones, utilized a safe deposit box provided by a leading bank. The designer stored valuable gemstone collections and important design documents securely in the box. The robust security measures offered by the bank ensured the preservation of the designer's assets, emphasizing the importance of safe deposit boxes.

6. Investment Products: A young professional in Bengaluru aimed to grow her wealth through investments. She consulted with the investment advisors at her bank, who guided her in selecting a diversified portfolio including mutual funds and stocks. Over time, her investments showed favorable returns, underscoring the bank's role in providing valuable investment advice and products.

7. Digital Banking: A tech-savvy startup in Hyderabad relied heavily on the digital banking services provided by a progressive bank. Through the bank's online platform, the startup's founders could manage payroll, make electronic transfers, and monitor account activity in real-time. The convenience of digital banking played a crucial role in the efficient financial management of the startup.

The banking industry, as of 2024, remains a cornerstone of economic stability and development, actively adapting to technological advancements and addressing global challenges. This overview explores key facets of banking, including financial intermediation, payment services, risk management, economic stability, financial inclusion, technological innovation, cybersecurity, global trade facilitation, government collaboration, and customer services with a focus on financial education. Illustrated through hypothetical case studies, these aspects showcase the integral role of banks in shaping economic landscapes, fostering innovation, and promoting financial well-being for individuals and businesses worldwide.

Financial Intermediation: Banks play a crucial role in connecting savers and borrowers. They accept deposits from individuals and businesses and provide loans to those in need. This intermediation helps facilitate economic growth by ensuring that funds are channeled to productive uses. A small manufacturing company in 2024 secures a business loan from a local bank to invest in new machinery. This enables the company to expand its production capacity, contributing to economic growth in the community.

Payment Services: Banking provides a foundation for various payment services, including electronic transfers, wire transfers, checks, and credit/debit card transactions. With the evolution of technology, the role of banks in digital payments and financial technology (fintech) collaborations has become increasingly important. A tech startup partners with a bank to launch a seamless mobile payment app. Users can make electronic transfers, pay bills, and make purchases using the app, showcasing the evolution of banking in digital payment services.

Risk Management: Banks provide various financial products and services that help individuals and businesses manage risks. This includes insurance, investment products, and hedging services. By offering these services, banks contribute to the stability and security of the financial system. A family purchases a comprehensive insurance package from their bank, protecting them against unforeseen events. The bank's risk management services provide financial security and peace of mind to the family.

Economic Stability: Central banks, which are a key component of the banking system, play a critical role in maintaining economic stability. They implement monetary policies to control inflation, regulate interest rates, and address economic downturns. In response to an economic downturn, the central bank implements monetary policies to stabilize inflation and interest rates, fostering economic stability and confidence in financial markets.

Financial Inclusion: Banks are working towards increasing financial inclusion by providing services to underserved populations. This involves offering basic banking services to people who may not have had access to traditional financial institutions. rural community gains access to basic banking services through a mobile banking initiative launched by a bank. Residents can now save, borrow, and conduct financial transactions, promoting financial inclusion.

Technological Innovation: The banking sector continues to evolve with technological advancements. In 2024, it is likely that banks will play a vital role in adopting and adapting to emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and digital currencies. A leading bank adopts blockchain technology to streamline international transactions. This enhances security, reduces transaction times, and lowers costs, showcasing the industry's commitment to technological innovation.

Cybersecurity: With the increasing digitization of financial services, the importance of cybersecurity in banking cannot be overstated. Banks are responsible for safeguarding sensitive financial information and preventing fraudulent activities. A bank invests in advanced cybersecurity measures to protect customer data. By implementing robust encryption and authentication protocols, the bank successfully prevents cyberattacks and secures sensitive financial information.

Global Trade and Commerce: Banks facilitate international trade and commerce by providing letters of credit, trade finance, and currency exchange services. In a globalized economy, the smooth functioning of banking systems is essential for cross-border transactions. An export-import business relies on a bank's trade finance services to secure letters of credit and manage currency exchange. This enables smooth cross-border transactions, supporting global trade.

Government and Public Finances: Banks assist governments in managing public finances through services such as collecting taxes, distributing subsidies, and managing public debt. They also play a role in implementing and executing monetary policies. A government partners with banks to implement an efficient tax collection system. The banks assist in collecting taxes, distributing subsidies, and managing public debt, contributing to effective public finance management.

Customer Services and Financial Education: In addition to traditional services, modern banks are increasingly focusing on providing excellent customer service and financial education. This includes helping customers make informed financial decisions and offering user-friendly digital interfaces. A bank launches a comprehensive financial education program, offering workshops and online resources to customers. The program empowers individuals to make informed financial decisions, promoting financial literacy and responsible banking practices.

These hypothetical case studies aim to illustrate how the importance of banking manifests in various real-world scenarios, showcasing the industry's multifaceted role in economic, technological, and societal development.

Importance of Banking

In conclusion, the comprehensive market overview presented here highlights the enduring significance of the banking industry in 2024. The sector continues to evolve, demonstrating resilience in the face of economic challenges, regulatory changes, and technological advancements. Banking services encompass a broad spectrum, ranging from traditional functions such as financial intermediation and risk management to modern innovations in digital payment systems and cybersecurity. The diverse array of services offered by banks, including secure depositories, lending support, transaction facilitation, foreign exchange services, safe deposit boxes, investment products, and digital banking options, underscores their pivotal role in catering to the varied needs of individuals, businesses, and governments. These services not only contribute to economic stability but also actively drive financial inclusion, ensuring that a wide range of populations can access and benefit from banking services. Furthermore, the functions performed by banks extend beyond the purely financial realm. They actively participate in global trade and commerce, collaborate with governments to manage public finances, and focus on customer services coupled with financial education. This holistic approach reflects the industry's commitment to adapting to the ever-changing landscape while prioritizing customer empowerment and societal well-being. As we look ahead, the banking industry's continued emphasis on technological innovation, coupled with its role in navigating global economic shifts, positions it as a vital player in fostering financial stability and supporting economic growth. The hypothetical case studies provided a glimpse into how these services and functions translate into real-world scenarios, showcasing the tangible impact of the banking sector on individuals, businesses, and the overall global economy. In essence, the banking industry's ability to blend tradition with innovation and adapt to evolving needs cements its role as a cornerstone of modern economic systems in 2024 and beyond.

Pratik Mitra

Research Associate

A dynamic market research specialist with expertise in industry research, market assessment, competitive intelligence, and strategic market intelligence to provide information for business decisions.

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