1. Commercial Banks:
The banks, which perform all kinds of banking business and generally finance trade and commerce, are called commercial banks. Since their deposits are for a short period, these banks normally advance short-term loans to the businessmen and traders and avoid medium-term and long-term lending.
However, recently, the commercial banks have also extended their areas of operation to medium-term and long-term finance. Majority of the commercial banks are in the public sector. However, there are certain private sector banks operating as joint stock companies. Hence, the commercial banks are also called joint stock banks.
2. Industrial Banks:
Industrial banks, also known as investment banks, mainly meet the medium-term and long-term financial needs of the industries. Such long-term needs cannot be met by the commercial banks, which generally deal with short-term lending.
The main functions of the industrial banks are:
(a) They accept long-term deposits.
(b) They grant long-term loans to the industrialists to enable them to purchase land, construct factory building, purchase heavy machinery, etc.
(c) They help selling or even underwrite the debentures and shares of industrial firms,
(d) They can also provide information regarding the general economic position of the economy. In India, industrial hanks, like Industrial Development Bank of India, Industrial Finance Corporation of India, Slate Finance Corporations, are playing significant role in the industrial development of the country.
3. Agricultural Banks:
Agricultural credit needs are different from those of industry and trade. Industrial and commercial banks normally do not deal with agricultural finance. The agriculturists require:
(a) short-term credit to buy seeds, fertilizers and other inputs, and
(b) long-term credit to purchase land, to make permanent improvements on land, to purchase agricultural machinery and equipment, etc. In India, agricultural finance is generally provided by co-operative institutions. Agricultural co-operatives provide short-term loans and Land Development Banks provide the long-term credit to the agriculturists.
4. Exchange Banks:
Exchange banks deal in foreign exchange and specialise in financing foreign trade. They facilitate international payments through the sale, purchase of bills of exchange, and thus play an important role in promoting foreign trade.
5. Saving Banks:
The main purpose of saving banks is to promote saving habits among the general public and mobilise their small savings. In India, postal saving banks do this job. They open accounts and issue postal cash certificates.
6. Central Bank:
Central bank is the apex institution, which controls, regulates and supervises the monetary and credit system of the country. Important functions of the central bank are:
(a) It has the monopoly of note issue;
(b) It acts as the banker, agent and financial adviser to the state;
(c) It is the custodian of member banks reserves;
(d) It is the custodian of nation's reserves of international currency;
(e) It serves as the lender of the last resort;
(f) It functions as the bank of central clearance, settlement and transfer; and
(g) It acts as the controller of credit. Besides these functions, India's central bank, i.e., the Reserve Bank of India, also performs many developmental functions to promote economic development in the country.
7. Classification on the Basis of Ownership:
On the basis of ownership, banks can be classified into three categories:
(a) Public Sector Banks:
These arc owned and controlled by the government. In India, the nationalized banks and the regional rural banks come under these categories,
(b) Private Sector Banks:
These banks are owned by the private individuals or corporations and not by the government or co-operative societies,
(c) Cooperative Banks:
Cooperative banks are operated on the cooperative lines. In India, cooperative credit institutions are organised under the cooperative societies law and play an important role in meeting financial needs in the rural areas.
8. Classification on the Basis of Domicile:
On the basis of domicile, the banks are divided into two categories:
(a) Domestic Banks:
These are registered and incorporated within the country,
(b) Foreign Banks:
These are foreign in origin and have their head offices in the country of origin.
9. Scheduled and Non-Scheduled Banks:
In India, banks have been broadly classified into scheduled and non-scheduled banks. A Scheduled Bank is that which has been included in the Second Schedule of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and fulfills the three conditions
(a) it has paid-up capital and reserves of at least Rs. 5 lakhs. It ensures the Reserve Bank that its operations are not detrimental to the interest of the depositors;
(c) It is a corporation or a cooperative society and not a partnership or a single owner firm. The banks which are not included in the Second Schedule of the Reserve Bank of India Act are non-scheduled banks.