Is A Fixed Rate Personal Loan The Best Option For Financing A Big Purchase?

People take out loans for many reasons. Some people take out loans for a house remodel, a new computer for work, or a wedding. Whatever the reason for taking out a loan, it’s always a big decision. 

When making a big purchase, you want to consider every option so you get the best rate possible. Many vendors provide their financing solutions. However, it is in your best interest to consider other options. 

One of the best options for purchasing is a fixed rate personal loan. But what is a fixed-rate loan, and why are they better? 

What Is a Fixed Rate Personal Loan? 

Many people prefer fixed-rate loans because the interest rate and monthly payment of the loan are consistent throughout the loan’s life. That’s ideal for people on a tight budget who need to plan for a specific amount each month. 

One common example of a fixed-rate loan is a thirty-year mortgage. With these kinds of loans, purchasers keep the same fixed payment amount for the entirety of the loan until it is completely paid off. The loan doesn’t have to be for a house, though. You can take out a loan on just about anything. 

Most banks will require a statement of what the loan is for before they give you the money. As long as it’s for nothing illegal, and you have the income that shows you can make the payments, you should be good to go for whatever it is. 

Interest rates depend on the loan amount and your credit score. As a rule, the larger your monthly payment, the lower your interest rate. In other words, the quicker you pay off the fixed-rate loan, the less interest you’ll pay in total. 

Fixed-Rate Loan vs. Seller Financing

Many vendors will offer in-house financing for their items. This is tempting because you don’t have to wait for loan approval and experience that instant gratification. 

However, before you commit to seller financing, it is in your best interest to explore other loan options. With a personal loan, you will get a better interest rate. That results in a lower overall purchase cost. 

 With a personal loan, you can decide how much money you need to make the purchase. Instead of financing the entire purchase, you can finance only part of the purchase. 

Seller financing typically has much higher interest rates. So, if you do not plan on paying off the loan within a short amount of time, you will end up paying more in the end. 

With a fixed-rate loan, you know exactly how much you’ll spend overall on the purchase before you sign the contract, no matter how long it takes you to pay the loan. 

What to Consider Before Getting a Personal Loan

Before getting a personal loan from a bank, it’s a good idea to determine a few things. First, figure out how much money you need to borrow. Most lenders have a minimum requirement for personal loans. Some minimums are as low as $500. However, others are twice that. 

You don’t want to take out a loan that’s bigger than you need. If your loan is under $500, consider other options.

Before you qualify for a loan, consider how long it will take to pay off. Some loans can be paid off in a matter of months, others years. Depending on your monthly payments and the loan amount, you have to decide how long you’re willing to take. 

Finally, the most important factor to consider is whether or not you can afford the monthly payments. No matter how big or small the payment is, you have to pay it every month on time to avoid extra fees. 

Credit Scores and Loans

Your credit score determines the kind of rate you get on the loan. It could also determine what kind of loans you have access to. If your credit score is too low for the kind of loan you want, you have two options. You can wait to make the purchase and build up your credit in the meantime. Or, you could have a co-signer on the loan. 

Another thing to think about is how the loan will affect your credit. If you don’t have much credit, having a loan and paying it off may improve your credit.

As long as you pay the monthly payments every month on time (or if you pay the loan off early), your credit score shouldn’t be negatively affected. 

Paying Off Credit Card Debt With a Personal Loan

If you have several maxed-out credit cards, you can use a fixed rate personal loan to consolidate the debt into one payment. Since fixed-rate loans have better interest rates and lower fees than credit cards, this can save you some money as well. 

Some loan companies will pay the loan money directly to the credit card company. That way, you only have to worry about paying the one fixed-rate payment a month. 

Other people choose to refinance their student loans into fixed-rate personal loans. This is an option for people who cannot afford their previous monthly rates. However, this keeps you from taking advantage of any government assistance with your student loan.  So, whether that is helpful to you or not depends on the amount of student debt left on the loan. 

Find More Finance Advice

If you’re thinking about making a purchase, consider all your options. Before you go through with seller financing, look into your fixed-rate personal loan options. That could save you money and hassle in the future. 

Before settling on a loan, make sure you can afford the monthly payments, check your credit score, and ensure you have a regular, reliable income. If you do those things, a fixed rate personal loan is a good option for you. 

If you found this article helpful, visit our blog for more financial advice. 

5 Painful Bank Fees You Might Not Know About and How to Avoid Them!

If you have a checking or saving account with a bank, you may know something about bank fees. Yes, those dreaded fees that come up ever so often. They are pricey and bothersome as they tend to come up in times that you may not have money in your account to pay for them. 

It seems that nowadays banks have a fee for everything. These fees can certainly add up fairly soon. Too many, and you might end up having to close your checking or saving account as you will find yourself having a low account balance or, even worst, find yourself in the negative. 

It is important to be familiar with the bank fees that are imposed by your bank. You can avoid many annoying fees that arise when using your bank. We all know that saving each penny matters, so learn how not to fall victim to charges.

1. Overdraft Fees

Bank fees can hit you from the left and right. One of the most common is the overdraft. You may be familiar with this fee if you have withdrawn more money then what you had available in your account. 

This is a bank fee that one can find themselves paying if they have purchased something that cost more than the money they have in their account. In the case of an emergency, you may find yourself having to pay for this fee if you end up buying something and you don’t have the money for it. 

The amount that you are charged for an overdraft depends on the bank. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid overdraft fees. Contact your bank associate to inform him or her that you want to opt-out of the overdraft service. This will prohibit a transaction from being approved if you don’t have the funds available in your account. 

2. Monthly Maintenance Fees

One of the most dreaded bank fees is the monthly maintenance fee. This is like a fee that you can expect to see every 30 days. Some banks have it in writing that they charge a fee to maintain your account. They inform you of this when you open the account. 

In most cases, monthly maintenance fees are avoidable. You have to meet certain criteria to avoid monthly maintenance fees. For example, if you have a large balance in your account, you may not need to pay such fees. If you have direct deposit, you may not need to pay for monthly maintenance fees.  

3. Card Replacement Fees

Card replacement fees are what you have to pay to the bank if you need to order a new debit card. If you lost your debit card or accidentally damaged it, you may have a double whammy. Not only do you no longer have a debit card, but you must also pay the bank to receive a new one. 

The bank will charge you a fee for this service. The new card may take about a week to be mailed to you. If you want it to come faster, some banks give you the option of expedited service. Pay a little bit more for rush delivery.

Yes, this is like rubbing salt into your wounds. 

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do this avoid this bank fee. If you lose your debit card, you will need a replacement one. You need to keep your debit card safe so you do not lose it or damage it. 

4. ATM Fees

There are fees that you may have to pay for if you use an ATM that is out of your bank’s network. If you find yourself in an area where there are no ATMs sponsored by your bank and you have an emergency, you may have to withdraw from an out-of-network ATM. 

This is a bank fee that can cost you double. The owner of the ATM may charge you a small fee, and your bank will charge you another fee. 

To avoid this type of bank fee, make sure you carry money, especially in the case of an emergency where you may need to pay with cash as credit cards may not be accepted. If you are looking to open a new bank account, make sure to open an account with a bank that has a large network of ATMs.

Also, consider asking your bank if they can reimburse you for the ATM fees. This is a service that some banks may provide you. 

5. Inactivity Fees

You may be asking yourself, “Why do banks charge an inactivity fee?” Quite shockingly, many banks do charge inactivity fees. If you have a bank account and have not used it in a specific period, expect to see this type of bank fee in your bank account statement. 

Banks do not want to have customers who have inactive bank accounts. It is not good for their business. You may find yourself having to pay for this fee if you have not had any activity in your account in a year. 

These Bank Fees Can Add Up 

No one likes to lose money, especially if they have to give it away to a bank. Bank fees can add up. And for the most part, they can be avoided. 

Make sure that you are aware of the bank fees that your bank charges. This information you can find on a bank’s website. Take the actions that are necessary to avoid bank fees. 

Consider joining a private bank that may not impose these charges. If you would like to read more about private banks or finance-related topics continue to explore the website

The Islamic Development Bank Group, in cooperation with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, organized a webinar on the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Global Investment Outlook

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group hosted a webinar on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global investment outlook, which was organized in collaboration between the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Country Strategy and Cooperation (CSC) Department, IsDB on 17th November 2020 to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on FDI and trade in OIC member countries.

The Islamic Development Bank Group, in cooperation with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, organized a webinar on the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Global Investment Outlook

 The main objective of the webinar is to present the key findings of the World Investment Report 2020 – International Production Beyond the Pandemic with a highlight on FDI trends in foreign direct investment (FDI) worldwide, at the regional and country levels and emerging measures to improve its contribution to development. In addition to presenting IsDB Group Strategy during COVID-19 and its impact on OIC Member Countries and Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs).

The Webinar also proposed adopting policies and strategies to revive investment and trade in member states to advance investment promotion activities, in order to support the IsDB Group efforts to assist Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) in member countries by assisting them in devising appropriate investment and trade policy responses to the ongoing pandemic

Mr. Oussama Kaissi, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), stated that “the COVID-19 pandemic has created a devastating global health crisis. According to UNCTAD’s 2020 World Investment Report, global flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) will be under acute pressure this year as a direct result of the pandemic. In order to combat these implications in member countries, IsDB and its group members have implemented a number of initiatives to maintain trade and investment flows. ICIEC will be an important part of the long-term recovery, supporting the growing demand for risk mitigation solutions”.

Mr. James Zhan, Director, Investment & Enterprise Division, UNCTAD, made a presentation which highlighted the key findings and policy recommendations found in its World Investment Report 2020: International Production Beyond the Pandemic.

Mr. Amadou Diallo, the Acting Director-General, Global Practices at the Islamic Development Bank in his speech stated that during COVID-19, the Bank provided technical assistance programs for the Islamic Development Bank Group such as RCI and ITAP to support the Member Countries by assisting them in developing suitable plans for investment and trade policy to confront the ongoing Corona pandemic. This is in the framework of a tripartite approach centered around the “response, recovery and rebuilding” pillars.

Mr. Mohammed Bukhari, Senior Investment Promotion & Regional Cooperation Specialist, CSC Dept., IsDB delivered a presentation on the impact of COVID-19 on MCs, particularly in foreign direct investment (FDI), domestic investment and investment promotion agencies (IPAs).

It is noteworthy that the private sector institutions of the Islamic Development Bank Group played an important role during COVID-19, as Mr. Asheque Moyeed, Division Head, Infrastructure & Corporate Finance,  the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) made a presentation which focused on the efforts related to promoting investment in member countries, where the IsDB Group private sector institutions pledged with IsDB to provide $ 700 million to stimulate investment, finance trade, investment insurance and export credit in member countries. Two D-8 Egypt and Turkey are going to utilize around $270 million of this package.

The webinar brought together over 500+ participants from 113 countries, including government officials, Presidents & CEOs of local/international private sector companies, multilateral and financial institutions, individual investors, entrepreneurs, chambers of commerce & Industry, business associations, and investment promotion agencies

8 Tips on Opening Up Checking Accounts for Beginners

Most people need only two bank accounts: one checking account and one savings account. This keeps things simpler and your finances easier to manage.

Savings accounts limit your access to your money, which is why they’re best for saving. Checking accounts, though, allows you easy access.

These are for spending, so they’re for paying bills, withdrawals, and so on. That’s why every person must have them.

If you’re a beginner to all these, you’re in the right place. Keep on reading for some tips on opening a checking account.

1. Know Your Needs and Frustrations

When opening a checking account, you first need to choose a bank. However, all the options can overwhelm you.

There are online banks, traditional banks, and even credit unions. Then, there are lots of options under each category.

To start choosing a bank, know your needs and frustrations first. What services are important to you? How about perks you’d like to get with your checking accounts?

Then, know what frustrates you, as well. Do you want to avoid huge fees? Do you have issues with certain features or requirements?

If you travel a lot or are online often, you may also want to use mobile banking. Check if the bank offers that as well.

Knowing what you like and don’t like will allow you to shortlist banks and the types of checking accounts.

2. Review the Features of Different Banks

Once you have a shortlist of different banks, it’s time to review their features, fees, and services. Check the minimum balance requirements and any fees, like the monthly service fee, overdraft fee, ATM fee, printed statement fee, and other fees you can incur.

You should also check out the insurance that the bank provides. Make sure it’s from either the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

The interest and rewards will also vary per institution. Check which features are more convenient or more preferable to you. The ATM network is something to consider, as well.

3. Consider a Lower Risk Account

Some banks and credit unions don’t allow you to overdraft. Meaning, you can only spend the money you have in your account. Even for online bills payment and checks, the account won’t let you overdraft.

Such accounts pose lower risks as you won’t get surprised with an overdraft fee or other common banking fees. These can go unnoticed, especially when people think they still have money they don’t have. You also cut the risk of losing your account privileges only because of some unpaid overdrafts.

Don’t hesitate to ask the bank if they have a “no-overdraft” account. Some have them but don’t market them, while others may not have them at all.

4. Visit the Bank In-Person

Modernized banks and online banks allow you to do everything online – from applying for accounts to sending e-documents. This makes for a smoother experience as you can open an account without stepping foot out of your home.

However, some people might prefer doing this process in person. If this is you, don’t hesitate to visit the bank you’re interested in. This also gives you an idea of their locations and if they have one near you.

This is also the preferred choice of other banks that are yet to modernize. In that case, you’ll have to schedule an appointment.

5. Ask the Right Questions

When you visit a location in person, prepare a set of questions to ask the teller, particularly about opening a checking account balance. Don’t hold back; opening up an account can be a long-term commitment.

Ask about all kinds of fees you can incur and how you can avoid them. Make sure you know the minimum balance requirements. And, clarify if this is for one account only or for across all accounts you have with them.

Clarify the withdrawal and transfer limits, as well. Then, ask how much are the fees if you go over the limit.

6. Look for Online and Mobile Features

Not all banks are up-to-date with recent technologies. As such, don’t expect them all to have mobile and online banking features.

A bank app is a must because it makes banking more convenient. You won’t have to fall in line to transfer money, for example, and you’ll have access to your balance at all times. Some of them will even let you deposit checks via a mobile app.

So, before you sign any contract, make sure the bank has an app you can access online or download to your phone. Seeing as how we spend an average of 6 hours and 42 minutes per day on the internet, online banking is a non-negotiable feature.

7. Prepare the Minimum Deposit

The initial deposit should matter in your decision-making because, in some banks, the opening deposit can go as high as $100. Most usually ask you to deposit around $25 to $100 to open an account.

Find out if your chosen bank and account needs a deposit and prepare that before applying. Even if you’re qualified and you have all the documents you need, you won’t be able to pursue the application without it.

Some accounts don’t require a deposit right away, though. Look for these accounts if the deposit is an issue for you.

8. Bring the Necessary Documents

To ensure a smooth process, research all the documents you need to bring when going to the bank. It’s a fairly simple process, but only if you prepare everything you need ahead of time.

Research the requirements for a checking account from your bank of choice. Remember that these may be different when you’re underaged or more than one person is opening the account.

Aside from the filled-up forms, banks usually require identification documents. In general, you’ll need a government-issued ID, SSN or TIN, and proof of address. You may also have to bring your student ID, power of attorney, or anything else for special cases.

Review Checking Accounts Before Committing

What we can take away from this is that you should review checking accounts before opening one. This ensures you get the best option for you and you’re satisfied with all the features, requirements, and terms before signing a contract.

If you have any questions, though, we’ll be happy to help. Contact us today.

7 Private Bank Benefits: Everything You Need to Know

Do you keep the bulk of your money in the bank? Are you looking for alternatives to increase your capital gains amidst challenging times? In the United Kingdom, small and medium-sized businesses are feeling the impact of the pandemic. The same thing goes for the real estate markets. Hence, people are looking for investment options that will help reduce the financial impact of the pandemic. 

But with or without the pandemic, strive to look for investment options that offer flexibility and higher returns. This is where private banking enters the picture.

But what are the private bank benefits that should convince you to shift some of your money? Continue reading below and learn about the advantages of private banking.

1. The Digital Edge

One of the key private bank benefits that attract investors is its digital edge. This doesn’t mean the kind of digital banking that all the other conventional banks offer.

Instead, it involves mobility through apps and chats. Through these technological methods, private banking lets you connect with your private banker anytime and anywhere you want.

Before the pandemic, the opening of new private banking accounts increased by 43%. A perfect example is Standard Chartered Bank. The financial giant incorporated real-time file sharing and instant messaging features in its mobile app.

Furthermore, other private banks partnered with existing platforms. These include WeChat and WhatsApp that DBS Bank uses.

2. A Dedicated Manager

Like wealth management solutions, private banking also gives investors a dedicated account manager. The role of the dedicated manager is to oversee the financial assets of the investor. He handles a single client’s money spread across various accounts.

Since the set-up is a one-to-one affair, the manager provides personalised banking services to his client. This means you will enjoy focused attention from the private banker. He can make life easier for you to conduct various banking tasks.

Examples of which include initiating wire transfers; ordering checks; and depositing checks.

But personalisation doesn’t limit the account manager from coordinating with other professionals in the bank. In case he needs help on something, he can connect with a wealth management specialist; an investment analyst; or a tax attorney, to name a few.

3. Investing in ESG

Private banking also lets you experience personalised Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing. An ESG is a type of sustainable investment. It aims to generate positive returns and leave a long-term impact on the business, environment, and social sectors.

Though ESG investments are available off-the-shelf, they don’t offer a high level of personalisation. Through private banking, you can experience ESG investing that aligns with your ethical considerations. 

For example, you may want to invest in the energy transition. The problem with an ESG investment that is not personalized is that there can be stakeholders that you do not agree with. In this case, the investment may involve an oil stock that is against the promotion of renewable energy.

Hence, the birth of a conundrum. Will you push through with a promising investment if a part of it goes against your convictions? Through private banking, you can avoid such a dilemma. 

4. Specialty Asset Management

Helping you capitalize on your speciality assets is one of the key options for banks with private account managers. Special assets or “nonfinancial” assets include real estate interests, farms, and ranches. 

They can also be rights to natural resources. Examples are rights to gas, oil, and mineral properties. Your regular banks generally do not manage such assets. 

On the flip side, private banking offers management for these investments. A private bank manager can reinvest these properties to generate more money.

He can also assist in lease and contract negotiations. Additionally, he can help facilitate inspections. He can also deal with tax, accounting, and legal professionals concerning any requirement for your speciality assets.

5. Different Perks and Freebies

Private banking also comes with many perks and freebies. Some of them you cannot find in regular banking. For starters, private banks can offer discounts. 

If you are applying for a home equity loan or mortgage, they can offer a lower annual percentage rate. They can offer different commercial mortgage financing options.  Moreover, they can offer senior underwriting support, as well as priority loan processing.

They can also give a higher annual percentage yield in case you’re opening a savings account. From time to time, private banks also hold special events for their clients. However, this can be a challenge for now considering the ongoing pandemic.

6. Opens Up Opportunities for Your Business

If you are running a business, private banking can open up opportunities that will help your business grow faster. If your private banker also comes from the same bank as your business account, you can enjoy lending opportunities and other benefits. 

Moving your personal funds to your business account and vice-versa can be easier. With a call to your private account manager, you can transfer your money without much hassle. Additionally, you can enjoy promos and discounts that the main bank offers to regular clients.

You can simplify this even further if you use mobile banking. This allows you to open up private banking services and the option for paying banking fees anywhere you go.

7. Concierge and Travel Services

Private banking offers a concierge, which goes beyond financial assistance. The concierge’s main goal is to make the entire private banking experience seamless.

For example, the private bank can prepare wealth management lectures for your heirs. Others offer events planning for clients who have projects concerning philanthropy. 

Also, some private banks offer premier travel services. This is a welcome benefit for clients who often go on business travels. Here, a travel specialist can arrange everything you need to make your business meetings hassle-free.

Discover More About Private Bank Benefits, Today!

These benefits and advantages are more than enough reasons to consider private banking. After all, banking is something that should not be tedious and time-consuming. Instead, it should help you maximize your time and generate growth for your assets.

Thus, we invite you to learn more about private bank benefits and wealth management. Connect with us and we will gladly assist you in your inquiries. Take the first step to increase your knowledge of investments, today.

8 Signs You Need to Switch to a New Bank

In 2018, over two-thirds of adults from the UK used some form of online banking. Though you may not think of banking and finance work as exciting or high-stakes, the field is evolving rapidly. As banking moves more and more digital, you may be wondering if your current bank is keeping up. 

If you’ve been thinking about switching to a new bank but are still on the fence, read on. There are a few telltale signs that it’s time to make the switch. 

1. Limited Online Banking

Like we said, online banking is the newest frontier. In fact, there are many banks with no brick and mortar branches. These online-only banks are cutting-edge. 

Therefore, there’s no excuse for your bank to have a clunky mobile app or inaccessible website. If your bank isn’t keeping up with the digital revolution, it may be time to go. 

Of course, if you want a bank that still has physical branches, you have options as well. Many banking institutions have great technology and still allow their clients to bank in-person. 

Just know that you can easily upgrade your online banking experience!

2. The Service Fees Aren’t Worth It

Some banks pull tricks to try and get as much money from you as possible. This includes raising their overdraft fees, raising minimum balances, and charging a returned mail fee. 

If your bank is trying to take as much money from you as possible, run the other way. Many banks have reasonable fees, or even better, fee-free banking options. Banks with lower fees are more likely to view their clients as people, rather than potential profit. 

3. Your Savings Returns Are Unimpressive

Is your savings account languishing instead of growing? Are you earning pennies on your investment? Look for another bank. 

You can find lots of high-yield savings account options while shopping around. These typically offer between 1.2% and 3% interest rates, while some banks only offer around .6%. 

You can make your savings account work for you, instead of the other way around. Research other institutions and their high-yield account options. 

4. Getting Your Money Is A Hassle

With the advent of online banking, getting access to your money should be easier than ever. If a bank offers anything less than lightning-fast transfers, they’re being left behind. 

You may think that having slow access to your funds is a compromise worth making. But if you encounter any sort of emergency and need money immediately, you’ll wish you’d switched to a lower-hassle institution. 

Avoid banks that take a long time to finalize your deposits. Look for ones that will let you use your money as soon as you leave the branch. 

5. You Have Monthly Fees On Your Checking Account

Your current bank may have a surprisingly low monthly rate. However, even £10 is too much when it could be £0! 

Many banks offer an option where you only have to pay a monthly fee if you are below the minimum balance. But others have neither a minimum balance nor a monthly fee. Shop around and see what your local institutions offer. 

A monthly fee to keep your checking account is a sign that a bank views you as a number instead of a person. Monthly bank fees are unpopular among consumers, so many institutions are doing away with them altogether. Don’t settle for a low monthly rate when you could have none! 

6. The Minimum Balance Is Too High

Some banks offer high-yield checking and savings accounts but also require a higher minimum balance. If you’re in a tighter spot than you were when you opened your account, you may have trouble keeping the minimum balance. 

This is one of the most practical reasons to switch banks. If you cannot afford to stay with your original bank, you can find high-yield accounts elsewhere. You may have to compromise, but that’s okay. 

The stress of meeting an unattainable minimum balance isn’t worth it. You can make this easier on yourself by making a change. 

7. Lack Of Accessible ATMs

Though the world is moving more and more online, there are still situations in which you need cash. Though there seems to be an ATM on every corner, some banks charge exorbitant fees to use out-of-network machines. 

If you can only use your bank’s proprietary machines without paying a fee, finding the right ATM can be a hassle. This becomes an even worse problem when the right ATMs are few and far between. 

Find a bank that has convenient ATMs, or doesn’t charge ATM withdrawal fees. You deserve convenience, and shouldn’t have to pay to access your money! 

8. Customer Service Is Rude Or Unhelpful

When you encounter a problem with your bank, their customer service should be swift, polite, and helpful. You should not settle for less, especially when it comes to your money!

Your bank should make it easy to contact customer service. There should be multiple methods of contacting them: instant chat, phone number, email. The representatives should be kind and helpful. 

If you have had multiple bad experiences with a bank’s customer service, it’s probably time to switch. Even if there is little else to critique about your bank, bad customer service can drive you away. Your bank should be working to make sure you stay with them for as long as possible.  

Find A New Bank That Puts You First

When looking for a new bank, you may not be sure if it’s really time to change. There will always be a million reasons to stay, but just know, you don’t have to settle. The field of banking is advancing fast, and you can have a better banking experience than ever. 

Don’t be afraid to do your research. Don’t make your decision in haste, and ensure that your new bank works for you.

For more advice, trends, and market analysis, read through our blog. At Capital Finance International, we strive to bring you finance news that’s interesting and helpful. If you want to learn more about how to bank better, read our blogs now. 

A framework agreement of cooperation between IsDB and Standard Chartered Bank

IsDB President Dr. Bandar Hajjar and M. Sunil Kaushal, CEO for Africa and Middle East, Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), signed a Memorandum of Agreement to participate in IsDB’s Restore Track Program aimed to supporting IsDB’s member countries’ private sector through stimulus packages to the economic sectors most impacted by the CoVID19 pandemic.

A framework agreement of cooperation between IsDB and Standard Chartered Bank

This agreement leverages on IsDB’s $2Bn “COVID Guarantee Facility” to establish an operational cooperation framework for IsDB and SCB to facilitate financing arrangements to IsDB’s Member Countries.

The COVID pandemic has disrupted international financial channels and put pressure on hard currency inflows to Emerging Markets. This pressure led to considerable limitations of the private sector’s access to financial liquidity. Combined with the loss of income due to reduced demand, the health crisis poses unprecedented challenges to the private sector and especially SMEs.

Through its cooperation with Standard Chartered Bank, IsDB aims to help alleviate some of these pressures by providing blended lines of finance to local banks at competitive prices.

“I am glad to see our, already strong, relationship with Standard Chartered Bank further strengthened with this unique and innovative partnership” stated H.E IsDB’s President, Dr. Bandar Al Hajjar. He also expressed his firm conviction that SCB’s funding expertise added to IsDBG de-risking guarantees will make a lasting impact for IsDB’s Members Countries.

M. Sunil Kaushal expressed his thanks to IsDB for the developing partnership between the two institutions noting that IsDB is the first Bank to sign such agreement with SCB. He also expressed his strong commitment to support IsDB member countries to fight COVID-19.

Both agree that this “out of the box” partnerships between MDBs and the private sector are now necessary to overcome the challenges of our times.

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) is a multilateral development bank (MDB) counting 57 member countries across four continents – touching the lives of 1 in 5 of the world’s population.

IsDB works to improve the lives of those it serves by promoting social and economic development, delivering impact at scale. IsDB is one of the world’s most active MDBs, and global leaders in Islamic Finance, with a AAA rating. Headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, IsDB is a truly global institution with major hubs in Morocco, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Senegal; and gateway offices in Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nigeria.

Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) is a leading international banking group, with a presence in 60 of the world’s most dynamic markets and serving clients in a further 85. SCB’s purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity through it unique diversity, and heritage; and values are expressed in it brand promise, “Here for good”.

Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges.

5 Key Differences: Commercial Bank vs. Investment Bank

Are you looking into what type of bank will be perfect for you? Deciding between a commercial bank vs. investment bank can be a complicated question. 

Luckily, we’re here to help. Keep reading, and we will discuss the five key differences between commercial banks and investment banks. 

1) Services

First, its important to consider the services the two provide. They offer different things. 

If you’re looking to underwrite new debt and equity securities, selling securities, pilot mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, and or broker trades, then an investment bank is for you

On the other hand, if you’re in the market for individual loans, small business loans, checking and savings accounts, and or certificates of deposit, then you’re looking for a commercial bank. Most people are probably most familiar with commercial banking for their checking and savings accounts. 

Have you figured out precisely what services you are looking for? Large scale or small scale? 

Great, now that we’ve got that covered, let’s look at what kind of expenses and fees we are looking at. 

2) Expenses and Fees

While the dollar amount isn’t a distinguishing factor, it does show some differences. The fees are how the banks make their income. 

Investment banks typically deal with more significant dollar amounts due to having bigger corporations as clientele and higher monetary amounts in investments. Commercial banks handle basic financial transactions, which can get higher in monetary amounts, but usually equally a lesser amount of money. 

Investment banking comes with a set of fees due to the level of risk involved. The fees differ from firm to firm, but some of the potential fees could include:

  • Retainer fees
  • Upfront fees
  • Expense reimbursement
  • Success fees 
  • Minimum fees
  • Engagement fees

So what does this all cost? A monthly retainer typically doesn’t go lower than $5,000 a month. The retainer is what secures the investment bank and covers their cost as well as the risk they are taking on. 

Commercial banks also have their own sets of fees. They typically range much lower than that, though. 

Commercial bank fees vary based on account fees, safe-deposit box fees, and late fees. Some examples of potential account fees could be:

  • Monthly maintenance charges
  • Minimum balance fees
  • Overdraft fees
  • Non-sufficient funds charges

You’ll also run into more fees when it comes to loans, but it depends on the different kinds you’re considering. 

Now that we’ve got that covered, who exactly uses which type of bank?

3) Types of Clientele

Are you looking at banking options for an institution or for yourself? 

Well, big investment banking clientele can vary depending on the scope of need or based on the client. Some examples of big investment banking clientele are:

  • Corporations
  • Pension funds
  • Other financial institutions
  • Governments
  • Hedge funds

Large investment banks can also serve as financial advisors or brokers for institutions or companies. 

An investment bank could also offer retail operations for smaller individual clients.

If you’re reading that and saying, “Nope, not me!” Then you could line up with the commercial bank clientele more so than the investment bank.

The clientele of commercial banks primarily comes from individuals using personal checking and savings accounts, or through personal loans. Basically, ordinary people who are looking for standard bank needs. 

Through loans and earning interest income from investments, commercial banks make their money to provide new business loans. 

You now know what services are offered, how much it could cost, and if you fit their clientele. Did you consider the regulations that come with commercial banking and investment banking?

Don’t worry. We’re covering that next. 

4) Regulations 

All banks have some set of regulations to follow

Government authorities like the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation regulate commercial banks.

Commercial banks are insured so they can maintain customer account protection. For example, some can cover up to $250,000 deposits. 

Investment banks aren’t regulated nearly as much as commercial banks. The Securities and Exchange Commission governs them. This means their clients have less protection, but and gives the bank more operational independence. 

Because of the regulation difference, investment banks have higher risks associated with them. When you use an investment bank, you assume the risk, whereas commercial banks work in the interest of their clients. 

5) Banking Examples

You may be thinking great, now I know some difference, but can you help me out with some examples?

You got it! 

Have you heard of JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, or Deutsche Bank? These are examples of large investment banks. 

Commercial banks in the United Kingdom could include HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB, Barclays, and Santander. 

Some banks could combine the functions of a commercial or investment bank. This could aid in the sales of an IPO or increased trading. 

This isn’t crucial to dive into, but worth noting. 

Some of the employees you can expect to run into in a commercial bank include tellers, sales associates, trust officers, loan officers, branch managers, and technical programmers. Whereas in investment banking, you’ll probably deal with an investment banker directly. 

So, Where Do You Go From Here?

Now when you ask the question commercial bank vs. investment bank, you have the ability to make an educated decision.  

From offering different services to helping different types of clientele, the kind of bank you choose will be a choice you make based on your unique set of needs at the time. Luckily, you have plenty of resources to turn to. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the finance and banking world head to CFI.co.

UnionBank, Lazada and Mastercard launch the Philippines’ first e-commerce credit card

Add to card everything you love with exclusive online shopping rewards

Manila, Philippines, August 8 – Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) and Lazada Philippines, together with Mastercard, have launched the all new UnionBank Lazada Credit Card, the country’s first e-commerce credit card that makes online shopping even more rewarding.

UnionBank, Lazada and Mastercard launch the Philippines’ first e-commerce credit card

The new UnionBank Lazada Credit Card is the only credit card that allows cardholders to directly earn up to 6x Lazada wallet credits from their online spend at Lazada – the highest earning rate among other credit cards in the market.

Every P200.00 spend at Lazada purchases earns cardholder with P6.00 Lazada credits. Meanwhile, cardholder earns P1.00 for every P200.00 on all other purchases outside Lazada.

“As the country’s leading digital bank, we’re truly excited about this new partnership because we believe the new UnionBank Lazada Credit Card will enable us to serve the growing needs of Filipino shoppers in this rapidly changing digital economy,” said UnionBank president and CEO Edwin Bautista.

During these uncertain times, UnionBank Lazada Credit Card gives customers a new safe and secure payment option for their online transactions. As another testament to UnionBank’s digital banking technology, the UnionBank Lazada credit card also introduces a new virtual credit card – which cardholders can use for online transactions without waiting for the physical card to be issued.

The cardholder will receive the virtual card, activate and use it to make online purchases immediately once application is approved. The virtual card can be viewed safely through the UnionBank Online app, with security controls including biometrics and one-time-password (OTP).

A physical card will also be delivered to cardholders for their face-to-face, point-of-sale transactions.

It is a privilege to collaborate with UnionBank as we work towards creating a secure and inclusive digital economy in the Philippines. With more people turning to the Lazada platform to meet their needs, the new UnionBank Lazada Credit Card will empower Filipino customers to get more value from their purchases as they embrace a cashless digital lifestyle,” said Ray Alimurung, Lazada Philippines’ Chief Executive Officer. 

“We’re excited to partner with Lazada Philippines and launch this newest co-brand credit card with the highest earn rate of up to 6X rewards at Lazada. Especially in this digital age and in the backdrop of limited mobility due to the global pandemic, more and more shopping is done online, and this card is the perfect product to use at Lazada. The more you shop at Lazada, the more you earn credits,” added Ana Delgado, UnionBank Consumer Finance Center head.  “I invite everyone to experience how UnionBank Lazada Credit Mastercard makes adding to cart and checking out a rewarding experience. So add to card now!”

“Mastercard is pleased to partner with the country’s multi-awarded digital bank and the top e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia to deliver more value to Filipino e-customers. The UnionBank-Lazada Credit Card is a demonstration of Mastercard’s global expertise in co-brands and its continuing commitment to bringing digital solutions that enable a seamless and secure shopping experience online,” said Rowell del Fierro, country manager in the Philippines for Mastercard.

On top of that, cardholders need not compute for any point conversion. Earned rewards are in the form of peso value credits, plus earned credits can be conveniently transferred to the cardholder’s Lazada Wallet using their UnionBank Online app with just a few clicks, anytime, anywhere.

Enjoy exclusive shopping benefits at Lazada with the new UnionBank Lazada Credit Card! Get P5,000 Lazada Wallet credits as a welcome gift when application is approved for a UnionBank Lazada Credit Mastercard (Terms & Conditions apply).  Enjoy free monthly shipping of up to P50.00 and free discount vouchers of up to P250.00 during their Mega Sales (birthday sale, mid-year sale, 9.9, 11.11. 12.12). Special discounts and exclusive sales also await cardholders from Lazada.

Apply now and start a new digital shopping experience at Lazada with the new UnionBank Lazada Credit Card at www.unionbankph.com or www.lazada.com.ph. Get ready to #AddToCard everything you love at Lazada’s 8.8 Shop Local Bounce Back Sale on August 6-8 and show your support to homegrown brands!

Follow the Money: What Do Investment Banks Do?

There are several different types of banks and institutions out there. By knowing what these banks do and how they differ, you’ll be able to improve your financial literacy and make better investing decisions. 

So, what’s an investment bank? And what do investment banks do?

An investment bank essentially acts as an intermediary institution that performs a variety of services. The majority of investment banks specialize in complex and big financial transactions. These kinds of banks help businesses make financial decisions and raise the capital they need. 

But there’s a lot more to it than just that. Are you interested in learning more? If so, then continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know!

How Do Investment Bank Works?

There are two main divisions of investment banks worth knowing about. The first is the advisory division, which is paid a fee for their work. There is also the trading division, which realizes losses or profits based on their performance in the market.

A person who works in an investment bank might have a career as a salesperson, trader, or financial advisor. While a career at an investment bank could be lucrative, it typically also involves a lot of stress and long working hours. 

Investment banks are best known for their financial intermediary roles. This means that they help businesses issue new shares of stock in an initial public offering (IPO). They also assist businesses to obtain debt financing by attracting investors for corporate bonds. 

The role of the investment bank starts with counseling before the underwriting process even starts. It then continues after the securities are distributed as they continue to offer advice. 

Investment banks also look at the accuracy of the corporation’s financial statements and they write papers that explain the offering to investors. The clientele of investment banks tends to consist of:

  • hedge funds
  • governments
  • corporations
  • other banks
  • pension funds

Many investment banks tend to use their size to their advantage. The more well-connected an investment bank is, the more likely it’s going to profit. It does this because it’s better able to match sellers and buyers. 

Many large investment banks have customers all over the world. 

What Do Investment Banks Do?

Investment banks perform a variety of functions. Often, they will act as the financial advisor to powerful institutional investors. An investment bank is supposed to be a trusted partner that provides strategic and useful advice on all kinds of financial matters. 

They’re able to do this by combining their ability to evaluate and spot investment challenges and opportunities along with understanding the desires of their customers.  

Investment banks also deal with mergers and acquisitions. During this process, the job of the investment bank is to determine the value of a possible acquisition and to help the parties come to a fair price. The bank will also help with executing and structuring the acquisition so that they can ensure that the deal goes as well as possible. 

Research is another important service that investment banks deal in. The research divisions of these institutions review companies and then write documents about their prospects. They will usually include “buy,” “sell,” and “hold” ratings. 

Although the research won’t bring in revenue on its own, the information that they come up with is used to help traders and sales. Investment bankers also get publicity for their partners and clients.

The research is also going to act as investment guidance to outside customers. This will hopefully get the clients to take the advice and execute a trade via the trading desk of a bank, which will then lead to increased revenue for the bank.

The research division is what powers an investment bank’s ability to conduct quantitative analysis, credit research, macroeconomic research, and fixed income research. All of this will then be used both externally and internally at the bank.  

Underwriting Deals

Investment banks will usually underwrite deals while they’re also arranging capital markets financing for their customers. This means that they manage the risk that comes with the process of purchasing the shares of stock from the issuers and selling them to institutional buyers or the public. 

Investment banks purchase shares at one price and then add a markup to the sale price. This brings them a profit that makes up for the risk that they’re taking on. This is also known as the underwriting spread

There will usually be a head investment banker who works with a group of investment bankers. This group is referred to as a syndicate and they all work together to underwrite an issue. This helps to spread the risk out among everyone. 

An underwriter will sometimes just play the part of a go-between for marketing deals. They help to market the stock but don’t take on the risk that comes with underwriting. When this happens, the investment bankers will be able to sell shares and get paid on the basis of commission. 

The Importance of Knowing About Investment Banks

Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now have an answer to the question, “what do investment banks do?” As we can see, investment banks tend to work with large institutions and perform complex deals that can involve enormous amounts of money.

And even though many people might not directly interact with an investment bank, the actions that these banks take can affect a variety of people, especially those who invest. And by knowing how these banks operate, you’ll be better to make more informed and confident financial and investing decisions.

Are you wondering if now’s a good time to invest? If so, then make sure to check out our other articles for more!