What is Public Sector Banking?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 28 August 2019
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Public sector banking refers to the banking activities of a certain class of commercial bank. The specific use of this term depends on the country or region of the world where it is used, but generally speaking, public sector banks are those that are owned or operated by national governments. Some countries use this kind of banking more than others, but in large regions of the world, where state control is traditional, it’s not uncommon to talk about public sector banking.

A study of public sector banking can be related to an overall analysis of a national economy. The way that governments interact with commercial banks or undertake banking activities has a lot to say about how that form of government administrates their control over a country or federation. Many finance pros and economists view banking as an inherently political sector.

One example of using public sector banking in a national context is in India. India is a country that many investors are now looking at, since it is known as an “emerging market,” where future economic growth is likely. India uses a great number of public sector banks, where the government may have a majority stake in publicly traded commercial banks.


Studies of normal public opinion in nations like India indicates that economists there can often see public sector banking as a less appealing alternative. Some finance pros would have national banking gravitate more toward smaller and more independent banks. The debate over this kind of banking is a significant part of how leaders influence the economic future of a country.

One aspect of banking that is somewhat connected to the idea of public sector banking is the idea of a central bank. Centralized banking is practiced in various countries. In the United States, the Federal Reserve operates under an appointed chairman who, though not elected, has a unique relationship to the federal government and its leadership.

In many nations, economists and others are looking at how banking influences government and vice versa. Public opinion has a lot to say about banking in many modern, industrialized countries, where people see financial activities as having a lot of outcomes affecting other areas of their lives. Considering the ramifications of private sector banking can be part of what people do to analyze the financial world, as citizens of a particular nation.


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