What’s the Difference Between Merchant Banking and Investment Banking?

Have you ever wondered what banks do with your money? Well, there are two types of banks that do different things with money: merchant banks and investment banks. Today, we’ll learn difference between merchant banking and investment banking.

difference between merchant banking and investment banking

Merchant Banking

Merchant banks are like helpers for big companies. They help companies with their money matters. Here’s what they do:

  1. Giving Advice: Imagine you have a lemonade stand, and you want to make it bigger. A merchant bank can give you advice on how to do it. They’re like a wise friend who helps you make good decisions.
  2. IPOs: Sometimes, companies want to sell pieces of themselves to the public. It’s like when you share your toys with friends. Merchant banks help these companies do that safely. They promise to buy the pieces if nobody else does.
  3. Getting Big Loans: If a company needs lots of money for a big project, merchant banks help them borrow money from many places. It’s like asking lots of people to chip in money for a big gift.
  4. Keeping Safe: Merchant banks also help companies stay safe with their money. They guide them through financial ups and downs, like a GPS for your money.

Investment Banking

Investment banks handle money for people and groups. Let’s find out what they do:

  1. Planning Money: Investment banks help people plan what to do with their money. It’s like deciding whether to spend your allowance or save it for something special.
  2. Taking Care of Money: Big investors, like rich people and pension funds, trust investment banks to take care of their money. It’s like your parents managing your savings for you.
  3. Buying and Selling: Investment banks buy and sell things like stocks and bonds. Think of it as swapping your toys with friends to get what you want.
  4. Helping Companies Raise Money: Investment banks help companies get money by selling parts of their business to others. It’s like your lemonade stand asking neighbors to invest by buying shares.

Key difference between merchant banking and investment banking

Now, let’s see how merchant banking and investment banking are different:

Who They Help:

  • Merchant Banking: Helps big companies.
  • Investment Banking: Helps people and big groups.

What They Do:

  • Merchant Banking: Gives advice, handles IPOs, gets big loans, and keeps companies safe.
  • Investment Banking: Helps plan money, takes care of money, buys and sells things, and assists companies in getting money.


  • Merchant Banking: Focuses on helping businesses.
  • Investment Banking: Focuses on managing money and investments.

Working with Money:

  • Merchant Banking: Doesn’t usually trade in financial markets.
  • Investment Banking: Buys and sells things like stocks and bonds.

Job Nature:

  • Merchant Banking: Works closely with companies.
  • Investment Banking: Manages money and helps with investments.


  • Merchant Banking: More connected to the success of client businesses.
  • Investment Banking: Affected by market changes and investment performance.

Additional Topics

Now, let’s explore some additional topics related to merchant and investment banking:

Merchant Banking Services in Detail

Merchant banks offer a range of services to businesses. Here’s a closer look at some of these services:

  • Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A): Merchant banks help companies when they want to join forces with another company or buy it. It’s like teaming up with another lemonade stand to make a lemonade empire.
  • Capital Raising: They assist businesses in finding money to grow. This could involve getting investors to buy shares in the company or securing loans. It’s similar to borrowing money from your parents to buy a new bicycle.
  • Managing Assets: Merchant banks also help businesses manage their assets, like real estate and investments. It’s like keeping track of all your toys and making sure they’re in good condition.

Investment Banking Services in Detail

Investment banks have various services too. Let’s explore them:

  • Diversification: Investment banks help investors spread their money across different types of investments to reduce risk. It’s like having different flavors of ice cream in case you don’t like one.
  • Research and Analysis: They provide valuable information about investments. It’s like having a friend who tells you which games are the most fun.
  • Investment Strategies: Investment banks help investors create plans for their money. It’s like making a plan to save for a big vacation or a new toy.

How They Make Money

Both merchant and investment banks make money by charging fees for their services. Merchant banks earn fees for advising companies and helping them raise capital. Investment banks earn fees through asset management and trading, and they may also make money from commissions and trading profits.


Merchant and investment banks are heavily regulated by government authorities to ensure they follow rules and protect customers. It’s like having a referee at your lemonade stand to make sure everything is fair.


In simple words, merchant banks help big companies with their money, while investment banks help people and groups manage their money and investments. Now, you have a basic idea of how these banks work differently and some extra knowledge about their services, how they make money, and the regulations that keep them in check. So, next time someone talks about merchant banking and investment banking, you’ll know what they mean.