Unit banking refers to a bank that is a single, usually small bank that provides financial services to its local community. A unit bank is independent and does not have any connecting banks — branches — in other areas
Advantages of Unit Banking
1. Easy Management: The management and control of unit banks is much easier and effective due to the small size and operations of the banks. There are less chances of fraud and irregularities in the financial management of the unit banks.
2. Localised Banking: Unit banking is localized banking. The unit bank has the specialised knowledge of the local problems and serves the requirements of the local people in a better manner than branch banking. Since the bank officers of a unit bank are fully acquainted with the local needs, they cannot neglect the requirements of local development.
3. Quick Decision: A great advantage of unit banking is that there is no delay of any kind in taking decisions on important problems concerning the unit bank.
4. No Monopolistic Tendencies: Unit banks are generally of small size. Thus, there is no possibility of generating monopolistic tendencies under unit banking system.
5. Promotes Regional Balance: Under unit banking system, there is no transfer of resources from rural and backward areas to the big industrial commercial centres. This tends to reduce regional in balance.
6. Initiative in Banking Business: Unit banks have full knowledge of and greater involvement in the local problems. They are in a position to take initiative to tackle these problems through financial help.
7. Flexibility in operation: The unit banks are more flexible. The manager of the unit bank can use his discretion and arrive at quick decision.
8. No Inefficient Branches: Under unit banking system, weak and inefficient branches are automatically eliminated. No protection is provided to such banks.
9. No diseconomies of Large Scale Operations: Unit banking is free from the diseconomies and problems of large-scale operations which are generally experienced by the branch banks.
Disadvantages of Unit Banking
1. Limited Scope: The scope of unit banking is limited. They do not get the benefits of large scale operations.
2. No. Distribution of Risks: Under unit banking, the bank operations are highly localised. Therefore, there is little possibility of distribution and diversification of risks in various areas and industries.
3. Inability to Face Crisis: Limited resources of the unit banks also restrict their ability to face financial crisis. These banks are not in a position to stand a sudden rush of withdrawals.
4. Lack of Specialization: Unit banks, because of their small size, are not able to introduce, and get advantages of, division of labor and specialization. Such banks cannot afford to employ highly trained and specialized staff.
5. Operates only in urban areas and big towns: Unit banks, because of their limits resources, cannot afford to open uneconomic banking business is smaller towns and rural area. As such, these areas remain unbanked.
6. Costly Remittance of Funds: A unit bank has no branches at other place. As a result, it has to depend upon the correspondent banks for transfer of funds which is very expensive.
7. Difference in Interest Rates: Since easy and cheap movement of does not exist under the unit banking system, interest rates vary considerably at different places.
8. Local Pressures: Since unit banks are highly localised in their business, local pressures and interferences generally disrupt their normal functioning.
9. Undesirable Competition: Unit banks are independently run by different managements. This results in undesirable competition among different unit banks.