Financial Intermediaries Key Concepts can't miss

Updated: Aug 19, 2019



The term ‘intermediation’ refers to the process whereby potential borrowers are bought together with potential lenders by a third party, the intermediary. Financial intermediaries can be divided into banks and non-banks.

The main bank financial intermediaries are:

  • Commercial bank, which offer both primary and secondary services to both corporates and individuals.

  • Discount houses, which deal in the secondary bill market – they do only wholesale business

  • The Bank of England, which is the central bank of UK and as such plays a supervisory and monitoring role in the economy.


The main non bank financial intermediaries are:

  • Building societies, dealing mainly with financing of houses

  • Finance companies, dealing mainly with the finance lease and hire purchase

  • Insurance companies

  • Unit trust and investment trust

  • Pension funds

Roles of financial intermediaries include:

  • Maturity transformation : The financial intermediary is able to give liquidity to those depositors who want it and at the same time to allow borrowers longer time to repay.

  • Funds aggregation : The financial intermediary accumulate funds from many small depositors and lend them to a corporate client which need huge funds.

  • Risk transformation : A bank provides a relatively risk free place to deposit savings. When a borrower does not repay it’s debt, the bad debt is absorbed by the bank and the depositors are not affected. However, too many borrowers not repaying their loans may cause the bank to collapse and in such rare case, the depositors lose their money.


Financial Intermediaries Key Functions

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