In finance, the term “deposit” describes a bank’s obligation to a customer. The term “depositors” is sometimes used to describe customers who deposit money at a bank.

Terms and conditions offered by banks, including possible yields, depend on the type of deposit being made.

Deposits can differ in different respects. The most noticeable differences are found in the withdrawal notice periods required.

Deposits which can be withdrawn or cashed without notice (or following a very short notice period) are known as sight deposits (a type of demand deposit). Typically, these include assets held in checking accounts (current accounts) for use in regular transactions.

Savings, on the other hand, are not sight deposits. Savings accounts may require a notice period of up to several months, depending on the amount being withdrawn.

Like savings accounts (agreed on withdrawal notice period, variable interest rate), time deposits, medium-term notes and fixed deposits (agreed on term, fixed interest rate) are not classified as sight deposits.

Securities do not qualify as deposits, and are not covered by deposit guarantees.

More on this topic:
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What is a sight deposit?
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Expert Benjamin Manz
Benjamin Manz is CEO of and an independent expert on banking and finance.