What Role Do Investment Banks Play in the Economy?

Investment banks perform two widely recognised functions: intermediation in the capital markets and trading in the stock market. There is a distinction between these and the functions normally associated with commercial banks, which include the acceptance of deposits and the making of loans. Investment banks play a vital role in the establishment of capital markets and the determination of market prices. They also contribute to the coordination of current and future consumption.

However, even though the functions of investment banking and commercial banking are distinct, the distinction between the two is more relevant in the United States than it is anywhere else in the world.

Advisor’s Responsibilities

Deciding on how to raise funds is a significant decision for any company or government organisation. In the majority of situations, they seek advice from an investment bank, which can be either a giant Wall Street business or a “boutique” banker.

What Role Do Investment Banks Play in the Economy?

The bank will make a recommendation on the most appropriate method of raising funds, taking into consideration the present investment situation. This could involve the sale of a stake in the company through a stock offering or the borrowing of funds from the general public through a bond offering. Through the use of sophisticated financial models, the investment business can also assist in the determination of how to price these products.

A company’s financial analysts will consider a variety of different criteria, such as earnings potential and the strength of the management team, to determine how much a share of its stock is worth when it makes a public stock offering. If the client is providing bonds, the bank will look at the current interest rates for similarly rated businesses to determine how much it will have to compensate borrowers for their investment.

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Investment banks can also guide in the event of a merger or acquisition. Consider the following scenario: A firm is considering purchasing a rival. The bank can guide how to determine the company’s valuation and how to structure the transaction in a way that is advantageous to the buyer.

Stocks and Bonds Are Being Underwritten

If a company decides to obtain funds through an equity or debt offering, one or more investment banks will be responsible for underwriting the securities offered by the company. This means that the institution purchases a predetermined amount of shares or bonds at a predetermined price and then resells them on a trading platform.

Consider the case of Acme Water Filter Company, which seeks to raise $1 million in an initial public offering (IPO). Federici Investment Bankers estimates that investors will be prepared to pay $11 per share for 100,000 shares of the company’s stock based on a variety of criteria, including the firm’s predicted profitability over the next few years. Federici purchases all of the shares from Acme for $10 per share in his capacity as the sole underwriter of the offering. If the bank is successful in selling all 100,000 shares at $11, it will earn a tidy $100,000 profit (100,000 shares x $1 spread).

According to the terms of its agreement with the issuer, Federici may be liable if public demand for the stock is lower than anticipated. If it is forced to cut the price to an average of $9 per share to liquidate its shares, it will have suffered a loss of $100,000. As a result, determining the value of securities can be difficult. Investment banks are often required to outbid other institutions who are also interested in handling the transaction on the issuer’s behalf. However, if their spread isn’t large enough, they won’t be able to extract a significant profit from the transaction.

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What Role Do Investment Banks Play in the Economy?

In actuality, the duty of underwriting securities is shared by several financial institutions. If the offering is bigger in scope, the managing underwriter will frequently organise a syndicate of other banks to sell a portion of the shares. As a result, the corporations may advertise their stocks and bonds to a larger segment of the general public while also lowering their risk of failure. If a security is sold by a syndicate member, the manager receives a portion of the profit.

What Exactly Is the Function of an Investment Bank?

Financial institutions, such as investment banks, assist businesses, governments, and their agencies in raising capital by issuing and selling securities in the primary market. Advice services for public and private enterprises in connection with the raising of funds in the capital markets (both equity and debt), as well as strategic advisory services in connection with mergers and acquisitions and other forms of financial transactions.

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Investment Banks Vs. Commercial Banks Are Two Types of Financial Institutions

The Glass-Steagall Act was passed by the United States Congress in 1933. In one of the Act’s most important clauses, a legal distinction was made between the operations of an investment bank and those of a commercial bank. 1

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What Role Do Investment Banks Play in the Economy?

Aside from that, it became prohibited for anyone corporation to serve as both an investment and a commercial bank, and for any holding company to own associate companies that are both types of businesses.

Investment banks were unable to accept deposits or make loans after this date. Even though commercial banks were no longer permitted to have security interests in the United States, no similar prohibitions applied to overseas investments. One is the Historian’s Office. Glass–Steagall Act copy with engrossed signatures. The date was January 8, 2021. With the passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999, these obstacles were removed.


While some of their more sophisticated products have given investment banks a poor reputation, these firms serve a crucial role in assisting businesses and government bodies in making informed financial decisions and raising the funds they require.

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