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Wholesale Banking

Updated on March 19, 2024
Article byPrakhar Gajendrakar
Edited byPrakhar Gajendrakar
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Wholesale Banking Meaning

Wholesale banking refers to the services provided by banks to large entities like government sector agencies, financial institutions, large corporations, real estate developers, investors, etc. A contrasting service is retail banking focusing on individual consumers. However, many significant banks provide both services parallelly.

There are many examples of wholesale banking products and services to large clients. For example, pension disbursement services indicate an example involving government agencies, cash management, mergers and acquisitionsMergers And AcquisitionsMergers and acquisitions (M&A) are collaborations between two or more firms. In a merger, two or more companies functioning at the same level combine to create a new business entity. In an acquisition, a larger organization buys a smaller business entity for expansion.read more, and working capital financing services are usually done for large corporate clients. Likewise, services like fund management and underwriting help large professional investors.

Key Takeaways

  • Wholesale banking refers to the products and services designed to serve large clients like government entities, big corporations, and other financial institutions.
  • It is the opposite of retail banking and does not deal with individual clients and small business entities.
  • Examples include pension disbursement services to government entities, cash management, mergers and acquisition, working capital financing services, consultancy, interbank lending, fund management, underwriting, etc.
  • A single bank can provide wholesale and consumer banking products and services, and Federal agencies regulate and oversee both banking activities.

Wholesale Banking Explained

Wholesale banking provides vital services too big for the consumer banking sector. The wholesale sector deals with large-scale corporate customers or high-revenue institutions, managing their funds and providing other quintessential financial or non-financial services. Developing activities in the wholesale segment has led to better service to large clients. Furthermore, a single bank can provide wholesale and consumer banking products and services, and Federal agencies regulate and oversee both banking activities.

To achieve a competitive edge, they are constantly evaluating the effect of technological development on the banking business to reorganize at the current level of technology and competitiveness. In addition, information technology is being used by wholesale institutions to support specific fee-income generation techniques.

Customized services offered to large corporate clients or government entities are different as they need to have such services at their disposal. Therefore, through wholesale services, the financial institutions provide a significant discount on their services for big companies in exchange for them to deposit huge amounts in their vault. Therefore, even if they charge a small amount, it will still make a profit.

Handling wholesale functions requires special expertise. For example, to serve the customized needs of government institutions, the bank has to fulfill the requirement of additional bankers with expertise in government organization functionalities. Managing government projects and bodies demands more detailed banking than commercial activities. It is imperative to provide banking and financial solutions that do not violate government protocols or create conflicts of interest.

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Example

For a better understanding, let’s look into HDFC bank’s operations.

HDFC Bank Limited is a banking and financial services company and India’s largest private sectorPrivate SectorThe private sector is a section of the national economy that the government does not own. The business conducted under this sector is carried out by companies or entrepreneurs who focus on profit maximization and customer satisfaction.read more bank by assets and the world’s 10th largest bank by market capitalization as of April 2021. The bank’s operations include treasury, retail, wholesale, and other banking operations. The HDFC bank’s wholesale banking segment provides loans, non-fund facilities, wholesale net banking, and transaction services to large corporates, emerging corporates, public sector units, government bodies, financial institutions, and medium-scale enterprises.

The firm’s strategy of a balanced combination of retail and wholesale is paying dividends brilliantly. When retail growth in the sector is a little subdued, the bank’s wholesale segment engine is blazing on all terms. Hence the combination is yielding a sustainable growth rateSustainable Growth RateSustainable Growth Rate (SGR) signifies how much a company can grow without relying on external capital infusion and is calculated using the return on equity and multiplying it by the business retention rate. Formula = retention rate * return on equityread more. From 2020 to 2021 bank’s wholesale share has increased from 49% to 53%. Loans increased by more than 20% in the wholesale category, which comprises high-rated corporates, MNCs, and PSUs, in FY20 and FY21.

Wholesale Banking vs. Retail Banking

Let’s look into some of the significant differences between them:

Wholesale banking vs. Retail Banking

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Wholesale Banking

Retail Banking

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is wholesale banking meaning?

It refers to the process of delivering banking products and services to large clients like government sector entities, large corporations, and investors. The products do not include home mortgages, consumer loans, and small business loans. Its opposite mode is retail banking, which serves individual clients and small business entities.

What is wholesale banking vs. corporate banking?

The wholesale segment functions with large clients like government sector agencies, financial institutions, large corporations, real estate developers, investors, etc. At the same time, corporate banking or business banking is directed toward corporate customers. Examples of products and services offered to corporate clients include commercial real estate, trade finance, and employer services.

What are the examples of wholesale banking products and services?

Examples include pension disbursement services to government entities, cash management, mergers and acquisition, working capital financing services, consultancy, interbank lending, fund management, underwriting, etc.

This has been a Guide to Wholesale Banking and its Meaning. We explain wholesale banking using the example of HDFC bank, its products, and vs. retail banking. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –

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