Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary
Wholesale banking can mean two different things. Sometimes wholesale banking is the provision of services by banks to other financial institutions. Usually, however, wholesale banking also includes banking services offered to corporations and other large institutions, financial or otherwise. In this sense, wholesale banking comprises cash management services, foreign exchange, business-to-business payments, trust services, custodial services, commercial lending, and trade finance. Wholesale banking compares with retail banking, which is the provision of banking services to individuals. Large financial institutions, such as Citigroup, commonly engage in both wholesale banking and retail banking. Wholesale banking in the US has traditionally excluded investment banking services such as stock offerings. However, the unravelling of Glass-Steagall restrictions, and the consequent mergers of commercial and investment banks, have made the line between wholesale banking and investment banking less finely drawn.
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This glossary post was last updated: 5th February, 2020