Role of Banks in economic development
Banks play a very useful and crucial role in the economic life of every nation. They have control over a large part of the supply of money in circulation, and they can influence the nature and character of production in any country. In order to study the economic significance of banks, we have to review the general and important functions of banks.
In any economy, economic development is not possible unless there is an adequate degree of capital accumulation (or) formation. Deficiency of capital formation is the result of low saving made by the community. The serious capital deficiency in developing economies is reflected in small amount of capital equipment per worker and the limited knowledge, training and scientific advance. At this juncture, banks play a useful role. Banks stimulate saving and investment to remove this deficiency. A sound banking system mobilizes small savings of the community and makes them available for investment in productive enterprises. The important implications of this activity include Banks mobilise deposits by offering attractive rates of interest and thus convert savings into active capital. Otherwise that amount would have remained idle.
Banks distribute these savings through loans among productive enterprises which are helpful in nation building.
It facilitates the optimum utilization of the financial resources of the community.
Banks are very important sources of finance and credit for industry and trade. It is observed that credit is the lubricant of all commerce and trade. Hence, banks become nerve centers of all trade activities and therefore commerce and trade could function in the presence of sound banking system.
The banks cover foreign trade transactions also. Big banks also undertake foreign exchange business. They help in concluding deferred payments, arrangements between the domestic industrial undertakings and foreign firms to enable the former import machinery and other essential equipment.
Commercial bankers help commerce and industry in yet another way. With the sound banking system, it is possible for commerce and industry for extending their field of operation. Commercial banks act as an intermediary between buyers and the sellers. Goods are supplied on bank guarantees, making it viable for industry and commerce to cultivate and locate markets for their products. The risks are undertaken by the bank. When the risks have been set free by the banks, the industry can look forward to derive economies of the large size of the market.
Commercial banks help in proper allocation of funds among different regions of the economy. The banks operate primarily for profits. When the banks lend their funds for more productive uses, their profits will be maximized. Introduction of branch banking makes it possible to choose between different regions. A region with growth potential attracts more bank funds. But in recent years, the approach of banks towards regional growth has been undergoing a change. Banks help create infrastructure essential for economic development. Thus banks are engines of balanced regional development in the country.
The commercial bank helps the farmers in extending credit for agricultural development. Farmers require credit for various purposes like making their produce, for the modernization and mechanization of their agriculture, for providing irrigation facilities and for developing land.
The banks also extend their financial assistance in the areas of animal husbanding, dairy farming, sheep breeding, poultry farming and horticulture.
The standard of living of the people is estimated on the basis of the consumption pattern. The banks advance loans to consumers for the purchase of consumer durables and other immovable property, which will raise the standard of living of the people.
Stimulating human capital formation, facilitating monetary policy formulation and developing entrepreneurs are some of the other roles played by commercial banks in the economic life of every nation.