What is the difference between banking and finance?
As a provider of individual and business banking services in Utah, we know a thing or two about the difference between banking and finance. But not everyone does. Banking and finance are two distinct areas within the broader financial services industry. While they are often used interchangeably, they represent different aspects of managing money and investments. Understanding the differences between banking and finance is important for individuals and small businesses to make informed financial decisions.
What is Banking?
Banking refers to the services and activities that banks provide, such as deposit-taking, lending, and managing customer accounts. Banks are financial institutions that are licensed to operate by regulatory bodies, such as central banks or financial supervisory authorities. For example, a small business looking for business checking or treasury management services in Utah would utilize business banking services.
Banks play an essential role in the economy by providing financial intermediation between savers and borrowers. They use the deposits they receive from savers to make loans to borrowers, who use the funds for various purposes, such as purchasing a home or starting a business. Without an intermediary like ourselves between the SBA and SBA loans for small businesses in Utah, it would be difficult for new companies to get the financing they need.
Banks also offer a range of other services, such as credit cards, mortgages, and personal loans. They may also provide wealth management services, such as investment advice and retirement planning. And yet it is the wealth management services and investment advice that gets us talking about finance.
What is Finance?
Finance, on the other hand, is a broader term that encompasses all aspects of managing money, investments, and financial resources. Finance includes activities such as investing, portfolio management, risk management, and financial analysis.
Finance is used by individuals, businesses, and governments to manage their finances and make strategic decisions. For example, a company’s finance department may be responsible for managing its cash flow, analyzing investment opportunities, and determining the best way to finance new projects.
The field of finance is divided into several sub-disciplines, including corporate finance, investment banking, financial planning, and financial analysis. These areas are concerned with different aspects of managing money and investments, but they all fall under the umbrella of finance.
Differences between Banking and Finance
The primary difference between banking and finance is that banking is a specific subset of finance. While banking is focused on managing deposits, loans, and other financial products and services provided by banks, finance encompasses a broader range of activities related to managing money and investments. At First Utah Bank, we are solely focused on providing traditional banking and business banking services for individuals and small businesses right here in the Beehive State.
Another significant difference between banking and finance is the level of risk involved. Banks are highly regulated and must comply with strict regulatory requirements to ensure the safety of customer deposits. As a result, they tend to focus on low-risk investments and lending activities. Our customers know their money is safe at First Utah Bank. While some of our competitors may make risky bets with their depositors’ money, we do not.
In contrast, finance is often associated with higher levels of risk, as investors seek to generate higher returns by investing in riskier assets such as stocks or derivatives. While banks may also invest in these types of assets, they typically do so through specialized investment vehicles that are separate from their traditional banking activities.
Different Career Options for Banking and Finance
Finally, the career paths in banking and finance also differ. Banking careers are typically focused on customer service, risk management, and compliance. In contrast, careers in finance are often focused on financial analysis, investment management, and corporate finance.
In summary, while banking and finance are related, they represent distinct areas within the financial services industry. Banking is focused on managing deposits, loans, and other financial products and services provided by banks, while finance encompasses a broader range of activities related to managing money and investments. Understanding the differences between banking and finance is important for individuals and businesses to make informed financial decisions and pursue the appropriate career paths.