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Markets - What do Investment Banks do?

What do Investment Banks do?

You may not think this is entirely relevant for you if you are about to begin spread betting and CFD trading, however if you are spread betting you are basically doing the same thing as a proprietary trader at an Investment Bank. In any case, if you are a serious about spread betting, chances are you will be taking positions in a bank at some point so you should have a good understanding of what they do.

Banks are split into two broad functions: Retail and Investment Banks. You quite often get banks that do the two e.g. HSBC, RBS (although this may soon change) and then you sometimes get Investment Banks such as Goldman Sachs which do not have a retail function.

Investment Banks perform the following functions:

  • Prop trading - investing the bank's money and generating super returns or super losses for their bank
  • Market Making - like spread betting companies, they ensure there is enough liquidity in the market through buying and selling shares
  • M&A advisory
  • Corporate events - IPOs and share placings
  • Structured products

Find out more in the video below. Having seen this video and read the above you may want to take a bet on a bank, before doing so take a look at who has the lowest spreads and who has the best opening offers in our spread betting comparison table

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