Commercial Banks

Banking is the lifeblood of the modern economy!

One of the most important functions of a Commercial Bank is the creation of new money. You might be inclined to believe that Central Banks create new money. That is infact wrong ! It is Commercial Banks who create new money through the granting of new loans.

Lets test your knowledge of banking and bank history!


Super! You know your basics well !

Better luck next time!

#1. You have heard a lot about banking, but did you ever wonder when did banking start?

The first instances of banking related activities were recorded at around 2000 BCE in Assyria, India and Sumeria, where merchants gave out loans of grain to farmers.

#2. How many banks are present in the United States of America (in early 2022)?

The bank population in the US has dropped significantly from an all-time high of 30,456 in 1921 to about 5,000 banks as of 2022.

#3. Which is the largest Bank in the world (by asset size)?

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China had around $5 trillion in assets in 2020 and employs a little over 400,000 people.

#4. We all know that banking is regulated strictly by law. In which ancient city, were first instances of bank regulations recorded?

Dated around 1700 BCE, the Code of Hammurabi (written on clay tablets) refers to the regulation of banking activity in Babylon.

#5. The United States of America has the largest foreign exchange market in the world. True or False?

Even though the US Dollar is the most traded currency in the world, the United Kingdom (London) is where 41% of all the world’s currency exchanges take place

#6. Do you know, what was the largest debit card payment error in history?

A New Hampshire man said he swiped his debit card at a gas station to buy a pack of cigarettes and was charged over 23 quadrillion dollars. The unfortunate customer was able to sort out the error (and the $15 overdraft fee) after two hours on the phone with Bank of America.

#7. Where does the word “check” or “cheque” come from? It comes from the …

The financial usage of the word is attributed to the phrase “a check against forgery”.

#8. What led to one of the earliest bank failures during the Great Depression?

In December 1930, the New York Times reported that a small merchant in the Bronx went to a branch of the Bank of the United States and asked to sell his stock in the institution. When told the stock was a good investment and advised not to sell, he left the bank and began spreading rumors that the bank had refused to sell his stock. Within hours, a crowd had gathered outside the bank, and that afternoon between 2,500 and 3,500 depositors withdrew a total of $2 million in funds!

#9. How much money was stolen in the largest bank heist to date (2022)?

In 2003, one day before the start of the Iraq War, Saddam Hussein sent his son to the Central Bank with a handwritten note, asking to withdraw a billion dollars. The money was loaded into three large trucks and driven away!