Saturday, September 29, 2007

Private Banking - Business Concept

Private banking is the activity of managing private client's money. This term is sometimes opposed to retail banking and corporate banking .

A private bank is a bank which offers private banking services. Such banks would not, for example, do mortgage business, merger and acquisitions or have checking accounts. They specialize in clients with large accounts (the minimum balance varies) who want their money invested and managed for the long term.

The expression private banker usually refers to a professional working in the private banking industry. (speaking of a secretary working in a private bank, you would say that she works in a private bank ).

Speaking about a bank, however, private banker means that the bank offers private banking services and that its legal form is a parternship. Indeed, the first private banks were created in Geneva in the 1800s as partnerships, and some are still in the hands of the original families. In Switzerland, such private banks are called private bankers (a protected term) to distinguish them from the other private banks who are usually share corporations. In practice most people would refer to them as private banks .

We stress that the word private, in the context of banking, neither means confidential nor privately held (as opposed to a listed company), nor available only to a few (like a private boat would be). This being said, we should note that, of course, Swiss private banks are also extremely private in the sense of confidential. accessed on 29/9/2007

Definition: Bank (Meaning of Bank)

Meaning of Bank: A bench; a high seat, or seat of distinction or judgment; a tribunal or court.

Financial Dictionary – Meaning for Bank
From the Italian banca meaning 'bench', the table at which a dealer in money worked.

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