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Financial Intermediary: What It Means, How It Works, Examples

A definition of a financial intermediary

A financial intermediary is a third party that facilitates financial transactions, such as a commercial bank, investment bank, mutual fund, or pension fund. Financial intermediaries provide consumers safety, liquidity, and economies of scale in banking and asset management. Technology threatens to eliminate the financial middleman in investing, while disintermediation is less likely in banking and insurance.

How Financial Intermediaries Work

A non-bank financial intermediary does not take public deposits. The intermediary may offer financial services like factoring, leasing, and insurance. Many intermediaries manage and develop their wealth through securities exchanges and long-term planning. Financial intermediaries and financial services industry growth may measure national economic stability.

Financiers transfer cash from capitalists to borrowers. It streamlines marketplaces and decreases corporate costs. A financial adviser interacts with clients by acquiring insurance, stocks, bonds, real estate, and other assets.

Banks facilitate lending using funds from other financial institutions, including the Federal Reserve. Insurance firms charge fees and provide benefits. Pension funds receive and disburse member funds.

Financial Intermediary Types

Mutual funds actively manage shareholder wealth. The fund manager buys stock in firms he expects to beat the market to connect with shareholders. The manager gives shareholders assets, firm capital, and market liquidity.


Through a financial intermediary, savers can combine their savings to make substantial investments that benefit the investing institution. Financial intermediaries disburse cash across varied assets and loans to share risk. Loans let people and nations spend more than they have.

Financial intermediaries reduce expenses in numerous ways. They can use economies of scale to accurately analyze potential borrowers’ credit profiles and retain records and profiles cost-effectively. Last, they lower the cost of the multiple financial transactions an investor would have to undertake without the financial intermediary.

Financial Intermediary Example

The European Commission adopted two new financial instruments for ESI fund investments in July 2016. It was meant to make startup and urban development project promoter funding simpler. Financial tools such as loans, equity, and guarantees offer more opportunities for public and private financing to be reinvested across several cycles than grants.

Through a pooled investment plan that is under the supervision of one financial intermediary, a co-investment facility provides funding to businesses so they can expand their business concepts and raise more money. The European Commission estimated public and private resource investment at €15 million (roughly $17.75 million) per SME.


  • Intermediaries facilitate financial transactions between banks or funds.
  • Intermediaries streamline marketplaces and minimize corporate costs.
  • Intermediaries offer leasing and factoring but do not take public deposits.
  • Financial intermediaries provide risk sharing, cost reduction, and scalability.



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