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The basic division of banks in the banking system

  • According to banking law, a bank is a legal person operating on the basis of permits authorizing to perform banking activities, such as trading in other people's funds in order to increase their value, including on taking money in deposits and granting loans.

The word "bank" comes from the Italian word banco, meaning a bench, a counter at which medieval traders (the prototype of bankers) accepted and issued bullion coins on the basis of certificates.
Pursuant to the applicable regulations, the name "bank" is reserved only for banks within the meaning of the Banking Law

Basic breakdown of banks in the banking system:

  • central bank - is responsible for the functioning of the banking system. It issues cash and then puts it into circulation, among others in the form of debt, i.e. by granting loans to commercial banks. It accepts deposits and manages foreign exchange reserves. Using the available instruments, it implements the goals of the state's monetary policy.

The control of interest rates and granted loans can be classified as instruments of direct action. In order to restore or ensure balance in the economy, the central bank controls the amount of loans granted by commercial banks. This keeps the money supply at a certain level. This supervision can take various forms, including the determination of loan-to-equity percentages. In Poland, the function of the central bank is performed by the National Bank of Poland

  • operational banks (commercial, providing services to the so-called mass clients):

  • universal banks;

  • specialized banks (e.g. mortgage banks, investment banks, banks supporting housing construction, etc.).

  • Mortgage bank - a bank specializing in granting mortgage loans for housing and industrial construction. Funds for financing its activities are obtained mainly from the issue of mortgage bonds, but also through accepted term deposits, issue of bonds and taken loans.

    • Mortgage covered bond - a registered or bearer security, issued on the real estate market, the issue of which is based on a debt secured by a mortgage. It is a type of bond and may only be issued by mortgage banks that undertake to provide certain monetary benefits such as interest payments and redemption of mortgage bonds. and protect the saver and secure long-term investments.

    • Mortgage bonds - a type of bonds that are issued against a given mortgage. Their advantage is that they are fully covered by specific real estate, because in the event of the bankruptcy of a given company, the value of such bonds may even show a significant increase in their price. The first mortgage bonds were issued in 1983. The basic principle of creating a mortgage bond is the redistribution of cash flows (interest and principal payments) to the various tranches of the issue.


Division of banks according to the legal form of activity:


  • state-owned banks (state-owned enterprises);

  • cooperative banks (cooperatives);

  • banks in the form of joint stock companies.


Banks are not cooperative savings and credit unions (SKOK), although they are often confused with them. Especially with cooperative banks.

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