Bank account

Last updated
Letter from the Midland Bank to a customer, informing them on the introduction on electronic data processing and on account numbers for current accounts 1967 Midland Bank letter on electronic data processing.JPG
Letter from the Midland Bank to a customer, informing them on the introduction on electronic data processing and on account numbers for current accounts

A bank account is a financial account maintained by a bank or other financial institution in which the financial transactions between the bank and a customer are recorded. Each financial institution sets the terms and conditions for each type of account it offers, which are classified in commonly understood types, such as deposit accounts, credit card accounts, current accounts, loan accounts or many other types of account. A customer may have more than one account. Once an account is opened, funds entrusted by the customer to the financial institution on deposit are recorded in the account designated by the customer. Funds can be withdrawal from loan accounts.

Contents

The financial transactions which have occurred on a bank account within a given period of time are reported to the customer on a bank statement, and the balance of the accounts of a customer at any point in time is their financial position with the institution.

Nature of a bank account

In most legal systems, a deposit of funds in a bank is not a bailment - that is, the actual funds deposited by a person in a bank cease to be the property of the depositor and become the property of the bank. The depositor acquires a claim against the bank for the sum deposited but not to the actual cash handed over to the bank. In accounting terms, the bank creates (“opens”) an account in the name of the depositor or a name directed by the depositor in which the amount received by it is recorded as a transaction. The deposit account is a liability of the bank and an asset of the depositor (the account holder).

On the other hand, a bank can lend some or all of the money it has on deposit to a third party/s. Such accounts, generally called loan or credit accounts, are subject to similar but reverse principles of a deposit account. In accounting terms, a loan account is an asset of the bank and a liability of the borrower. Loan accounts may be unsecured or secured by the borrower, and they may be guaranteed by a third person, with or without security.

Opening an account

Each financial institution sets the terms and conditions for each type of account it offers, and when a customer applies for the opening of an account, and accepted by the institution, they form the contract between the financial institution and the customer in relation to the account.

The laws of each country specify how bank accounts may be opened and operated. They may specify who may open an account, for example, how the signatories can identify themselves, deposit, withdrawal limits among other specifications.

The minimum age for opening a bank account is most commonly 18 years of age. However, in some countries, the minimum age to open a bank account can be 16 years, and accounts may be opened in the name of minors but operated by their parent or guardian. In general, it is unlawful to open an account in a false name.

Account structure

From the customer’s point of view, bank accounts may have a positive, or credit balance, when the financial institution owes money to the customer; or a negative, or debit balance, when the customer owes the financial institution money. [1]

Broadly, accounts that hold credit balances are referred to as deposit accounts, and accounts opened to hold debit balances are referred to as loan accounts. Some accounts can switch between credit and debit balances.

Some accounts are categorized by the function rather than nature of the balance they hold, such as savings account, which routinely are in credit.

Financial institutions have an account numbering scheme to identify each account, which is important as a customer may have multiple accounts.

Types of accounts

Each financial institution has its own names for the various accounts it offers to customers, but these can be categorised as:

See also

Related Research Articles

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation US company providing deposit insurance

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is one of two agencies that provide deposit insurance to depositors in U.S. depository institutions, the other being the National Credit Union Administration, which regulates and insures credit unions. The FDIC is a United States government corporation providing deposit insurance to depositors in U.S. commercial banks and savings banks. The FDIC was created by the 1933 Banking Act, enacted during the Great Depression to restore trust in the American banking system. More than one-third of banks failed in the years before the FDIC's creation, and bank runs were common. The insurance limit was initially US$2,500 per ownership category, and this was increased several times over the years. Since the passage of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2011, the FDIC insures deposits in member banks up to US$250,000 per ownership category.

Debits and credits amounts added or subtracted to account ledgers

In double entry bookkeeping, debits and credits are entries made in account ledgers to record changes in value resulting from business transactions. A debit entry in an account represents a transfer of value to that account, and a credit entry represents a transfer from the account. For example, a tenant who pays rent to a landlord will make a debit entry in a rent expense account associated with the landlord, and the landlord will make a credit entry in a receivable account associated with the tenant. Every transaction produces both debit entries and credit entries for each party involved, where each party's total debits and total credits for the same transaction are equal. Continuing the example, the tenant will also credit the bank account from which they pay rent, and the landlord will debit the bank account where they deposit it.

Fractional-reserve banking banking system where bank holds reserves equal to fraction of deposit liabilities

Fractional-reserve banking is the most common form of banking practised by commercial banks worldwide. It involves banks accepting deposits from customers and making loans to borrowers, while holding in reserve an amount equal to only a fraction of the bank's deposit liabilities. Bank reserves are held as cash in the bank or as balances in the bank's account at the central bank. The minimum amount that banks are required to hold in liquid assets is determined by the country's central bank, and is called the reserve requirement or reserve ratio. Banks usually hold more than this minimum amount, keeping excess reserves.

A transaction account, also called a checking account, chequing account, current account, demand deposit account, or share draft account at credit unions, is a deposit account held at a bank or other financial institution. It is available to the account owner "on demand" and is available for frequent and immediate access by the account owner or to others as the account owner may direct. Access may be in a variety of ways, such as cash withdrawals, use of debit cards, cheques (checks) and electronic transfer. In economic terms, the funds held in a transaction account are regarded as liquid funds. In accounting terms they are considered as cash.

Bank fraud is the use of potentially illegal means to obtain money, assets, or other property owned or held by a financial institution, or to obtain money from depositors by fraudulently posing as a bank or other financial institution. In many instances, bank fraud is a criminal offence. While the specific elements of particular banking fraud laws vary depending on jurisdictions, the term bank fraud applies to actions that employ a scheme or artifice, as opposed to bank robbery or theft. For this reason, bank fraud is sometimes considered a white-collar crime.

A certificate of deposit (CD) is a time deposit, a financial product commonly sold by banks, thrift institutions, and credit unions. CDs differ from savings accounts in that the CD has a specific, fixed term and usually, a fixed interest rate. The bank expects CD to be held until maturity, at which time they can be withdrawn and interest paid.

Savings account type of account maintained by retail financial institutions

A savings account is a bank account at a retail bank whose features include the requirements that only a limited number of withdrawals can take place, it does not have cheque facilities and usually do not have a linked debit card facility, it has limited transfer facilities and cannot be overdrawn. Traditionally, transactions on savings accounts were widely recorded in a passbook, and were sometimes called passbook savings accounts, and bank statements were not provided; however, currently such transactions are commonly recorded electronically and accessible online.

Overdraft occurs when money is withdrawn from a bank account and the available balance goes below zero

An overdraft occurs when money is withdrawn from a bank account and the available balance goes below zero. In this situation the account is said to be "overdrawn". If there is a prior agreement with the account provider for an overdraft, and the amount overdrawn is within the authorized overdraft limit, then interest is normally charged at the agreed rate. If the negative balance exceeds the agreed terms, then additional fees may be charged and higher interest rates may apply.

Payment card card that can be used to make a payment

Payment cards are part of a payment system issued by financial institutions, such as a bank, to a customer that enables its owner to access the funds in the customer's designated bank accounts, or through a credit account and make payments by electronic funds transfer and access automated teller machines (ATMs). Such cards are known by a variety of names including bank cards, ATM cards, MAC, client cards, key cards or cash cards.

An ATM card is a payment card or dedicated payment card issued by a financial institution which enables a customer to access automated teller machines (ATMs). ATM cards are payment card size and style plastic cards with a magnetic stripe or a plastic smart card with a chip that contains a unique card number and some security information such as an expiration date or CVVC (CVV). ATM cards are known by a variety of names such as bank card, MAC, client card, key card or cash card, among others. Most payment cards, such as debit and credit cards can also function as ATM cards, although ATM-only cards are also available. Charge and proprietary cards cannot be used as ATM cards. The use of a credit card to withdraw cash at an ATM is treated differently to a POS transaction, usually attracting interest charges from the date of the cash withdrawal. Interbank networks allow the use of ATM cards at ATMs of private operators and financial institutions other than those of the institution that issued the cards.

Tokyo Star Bank

The Tokyo Star Bank, Ltd. is a Japanese bank established on June 11, 2001 out of the reorganization of then bankrupt Tokyo Sowa Bank by Lone Star Funds.

Asset and liability management is the practice of managing financial risks that arise due to mismatches between the assets and liabilities as part of an investment strategy in financial accounting.

Credit card card for financial transactions from a line of credit

A credit card is a payment card issued to users (cardholders) to enable the cardholder to pay a merchant for goods and services based on the cardholder's promise to the card issuer to pay them for the amounts plus the other agreed charges. The card issuer creates a revolving account and grants a line of credit to the cardholder, from which the cardholder can borrow money for payment to a merchant or as a cash advance.

Diamond–Dybvig model

The Diamond–Dybvig model is an influential model of bank runs and related financial crises. The model shows how banks' mix of illiquid assets and liquid liabilities may give rise to self-fulfilling panics among depositors.

Bank regulation in the United States is highly fragmented compared with other G10 countries, where most countries have only one bank regulator. In the U.S., banking is regulated at both the federal and state level. Depending on the type of charter a banking organization has and on its organizational structure, it may be subject to numerous federal and state banking regulations. Apart from the bank regulatory agencies the U.S. maintains separate securities, commodities, and insurance regulatory agencies at the federal and state level, unlike Japan and the United Kingdom. Bank examiners are generally employed to supervise banks and to ensure compliance with regulations.

Bank Financial institution that accepts deposits

A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits and recurring accounts from the people and creates Demand Deposit. Lending activities can be performed either directly or indirectly through capital markets. Due to their importance in the financial stability of a country, banks are highly regulated in most countries. Most nations have institutionalized a system known as fractional reserve banking under which banks hold liquid assets equal to only a portion of their current liabilities. In addition to other regulations intended to ensure liquidity, banks are generally subject to minimum capital requirements based on an international set of capital standards, known as the Basel Accords.

A joint account is a bank account that has been opened by two or more individuals or entities. Joint accounts are commonly opened by close relatives or by business partners, but it can be used in other circumstances, such as by a club committee.

Liability (financial accounting) future sacrifices of economic benefits that an entity is obliged to make to other entities as a result of past transactions or other past events

In financial accounting, a liability is defined as the future sacrifices of economic benefits that the entity is obliged to make to other entities as a result of past transactions or other past events, the settlement of which may result in the transfer or use of assets, provision of services or other yielding of economic benefits in the future.

Reserve Requirements for Depository Institutions is a Federal Reserve regulation governing the reserves that banks and credit unions keep to satisfy depositor withdrawals. Although the regulation still requires banks to report the aggregate balances of their deposit accounts to the Federal Reserve, most of its provisions are inactive as a result of policy changes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A deposit account is a bank account maintained by a financial institution in which a customer can deposit money and which can be withdrawn. Deposit accounts can be savings accounts, current accounts or many other typed of bank account.

References

  1. "What is debit balance? definition and meaning". Businessdictionary.com. Retrieved 2013-12-17.