Merchant banking is the cornerstone of the global financial system, providing the necessary liquidity and risk management services to support global economic growth.- International Monetary Fund (IMF)”

What is a Merchant Bank?

Merchant banking refers to the process of using a financial institution that provides services such as underwriting, mergers and acquisitions advice, asset management, and corporate finance. Merchant banks are usually private institutions and are not affiliated with any commercial or retail bank.

Merchant banking typically offers a range of services, such as investment banking, corporate finance, asset management, and other services related to financial markets. It may also offer credit facilities and risk management services.

How does Merchant Banking Work?

➡️A merchant bank is a financial institution that provides a variety of services, such as merchant banking services, investment banking services, retail banking services, and other financial services.

➡️ Merchant banks typically act as intermediaries between companies and investors, providing services such as arranging deals and providing advice on financial strategies. 

➡️Additionally, merchant banks may provide capital to companies in the form of loans or investments, as well as manage financial assets and investments for clients. 

➡️Merchant banks may also offer other services such as credit and debit card processing, foreign currency exchange, and merchant services.

Functions/Benefits of Merchant Banking

Let’s have a look at the benefits of Merchant Banking.

➡️Portfolio Management

Merchant banking companies provide portfolio management services to high-net-worth individuals and corporate investors. These services include a selection of securities, portfolio monitoring and review, advice on the rationalization of portfolios, and tax planning.

➡️Raising funds for clients

 Merchant banking helps companies, both big and small, to raise funds from the public through public issues of shares and debentures, rights issues of shares, preferential allotment of shares, private placement of shares and debentures, and other instruments.

➡️Loan Syndication 

The main function of merchant banking involves loan syndication. Merchant bankers help in arranging funds for large corporate borrowers by syndicating loans from multiple lenders. They act as an intermediary between the borrowing company and the lending institutions.

➡️Leasing Services

Merchant banks provide leasing services to companies in the form of capital goods, vehicles and office equipment. This helps to reduce the overall financial burden of the companies.

➡️Underwriting Services 

Merchant banks also provide underwriting services for initial public offerings (IPOs), private placements, follow-on public offerings (FPOs) and rights issues. This service helps companies to raise the required funds from the public.

Services offered by Merchant Banks

Merchant banks provide a range of services, including:

Investment Banking

Merchant banks provide financial advice and services to businesses and individuals, such as underwriting new securities, helping to make mergers and acquisitions, and providing equity capital to companies. 

Corporate Finance

Merchant banks help businesses raise capital to finance growth, expansion, or other activities. This includes arranging debt or equity financing, advising on mergers and acquisitions, and providing other financial advice. 

Private Banking

Merchant banks provide private banking services, such as managing personal wealth, investment portfolios, estate planning, and tax planning. 

Trade Finance

Merchant banks provide trade finance services, such as issuing letters of credit, arranging letters of guarantee, and providing foreign exchange services. 

Asset Management

Merchant banks provide asset management services, such as portfolio management and advising on investments. 

Cash Management

Merchant banks provide cash management services, such as managing cash flow and advising on liquidity issues. 

Advisory Services

Merchant banks also provide advisory services, such as helping businesses develop strategies and manage risk.

Features of Merchant Banks

Here’s a list of features of merchant banking. Let’s have a look.

➡️ Merchant banking provides a wide range of financial services to clients, including corporate finance, securities trading, and venture capital. They also provide advice on mergers and acquisitions and other corporate restructurings.

➡️Merchant banks are typically more involved in the management of their client’s finances than other financial institutions, such as commercial banks. Merchant banks provide advice and services on a wide range of financial matters, from capital raising to foreign exchange risk management.

➡️Merchant banks are typically more selective when it comes to the clients they work with. They typically work with high-net-worth individuals and large corporations.

➡️Merchant banks often have a large network of contacts that they can use to help their clients find the right financing and investment opportunities.

➡️Merchant banks are often able to offer more competitive interest rates and fees than other financial institutions.

➡️Merchant banks often provide more personalised services than banks or other financial institutions, as they are more focused on their client’s individual needs.

Difference between Merchant Banks and Investment Banks

Let’s have a closer look at the significant differences between a merchant bank and an investment bank.

Parameters Merchant Banks Investment Banks
Services offered Merchant banking provides services such as issuing loans, providing advice on mergers and acquisitions, and helping companies raise capital. Investment banking, on the other hand, focuses more on providing advice to investors and helping them to buy and sell securities.
Transaction type Merchant banking is primarily focused on long-term investments Investment banking focuses more on short-term transactions. 
Main role in business  Merchant banking is more focused on offering advice to businesses on mergers and acquisitions Investment banking is more focused on providing advice to investors on buying and selling securities.


Merchant banking is a valuable financial service that can provide businesses with the necessary capital to operate and grow. It can also provide advice and assistance in areas such as financial management, corporate strategy and risk management. 

By utilizing the services of a merchant bank, businesses can access capital, reduce costs and gain access to a variety of specialized services. In short, merchant banking is an essential component of any business’s financial strategy.

Banking, as we see it, has significantly evolved.

The evolution of the fintech space has had a significant impact on businesses today.


  • One-stop banking solutions platforms like RazorpayX allow business owners to open current accounts, pay taxes, schedule payments, pay vendors seamlessly and check invoices from a single dashboard. This saves valuable time and effort. 
  • It is an accounting and banking platform that fills the gap between advanced banking solutions and finance professionals. It allows easy accounting software integration.
  • With RazorpayX Payroll, businesses can automate salary payments and provide insurance policies to their employees


Frequently Asked Questions

What is merchant banking?

Merchant banking is a financial service provider that offers a wide range of services such as underwriting, issuing of securities, asset management, portfolio management, and advisory services. Merchant banks provide specialized services to large corporations, high net worth individuals, and institutional investors.

What services do merchant banks offer?

Merchant banks offer a wide range of services such as underwriting, issuing of securities, asset management, portfolio management, and advisory services. They also provide specialized services such as capital raising, merger and acquisition advice, foreign exchange transactions, and project finance.

What is the role of merchant banks in the capital markets?

Merchant banks play an important role in the capital markets. They help companies to raise capital in the form of debt or equity. They can also provide advice on mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, and project financing. In addition, they can provide valuable services such as portfolio management, asset management, and advisory services.

What are the advantages of using merchant banks?

The main advantages of using merchant banks are access to capital markets, expertise in dealing with financial products and services, and the ability to provide valuable advice. Merchant banks can provide advice on mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, and project financing. They can also offer a wide range of services such as underwriting, issuing of securities, asset management, and portfolio management.

What are the risks of using merchant banks?

The main risks associated with using merchant banks include the potential for conflicts of interest, the cost of using their services, and the complexity of their services. Additionally, there is the risk of mismanagement of funds and potential for fraudulent activities.

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    Aratrica Chakraborty
    Author Aratrica Chakraborty

    Content Marketer. Travel&Scuba enthusiast.Makes the best Vegan Coffee.

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