The 10 Best Banking Books

Last updated: 27 February 2021. I've found the top 5 banking books currently available and have ranked them below. I've also gathered other shortlists of top books about banking for your attention. 

Banking is a multi-faceted industry with a common goal - generating a healthy profit from advising or handling the flow of capital. Whether that capital comes from savers, investors or the government, and whether it's being transferred, traded or deployed, the process of banking sees the bank sits as middle man to take a margin on the transaction. 

Each banking book featured below is generally beginner friendly and won't assume that you're a professional banker, however I'll flag up otherwise. With prices ranging from £15 - £80, stocking up on a few of the best banking books can deliver the same value as an expensive seminar for only a fraction of the cost. They can even be read for free with Amazon's Kindle Unlimited free trial.

Click on any title below to see the latest price from Amazon, you'll be shocked at how affordable the most popular titles are. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases which helps to support this site. This does not impact how I compile the list. Happy reading!

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Comprehensive books about banking

Wide and varied overviews of the banking sector

FT Guide to Banking
Money, Banking & Financial Markets
Banking
Economics of Money

Award-winning banking books

Wide and varied overviews of the banking sector

Lords of Finance
The last tycoons
The man who knew
The spider network

The best investment banking books for beginners

Find a great introduction to this rich and diverse field of banking

Dummies guide to investment banking
Investment banking explained
How to be an investment banker
Investment Banking NCX

Banking books written by insiders

Salacious, or outright hilarious. These guides offer an eye-opening peek behind the scenes.

Traders, guns and money
Devils Deal
What happened to goldman sachs
Den of Thieves

Bestselling novels about about banking

Follow stories of bold innovation and risk-taking from the world of investment banking

Stock Market Investing for Beginners
The man who solved the market
Unknown market wizards
How to own the world

Download all these banking books for free with Kindle Unlimited

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Here's a useful tip that will save you £100+ on banking books. Sign-up to Amazon's Kindle Unlimited free trial, which offers access to all titles for free for 30 days.

  • There's no obligation to continue with a paid subscription.
  • You don't even need a Kindle to enjoy - any device will do.

If you're cost-savvy, you'll already be calculating the savings you could unlock and the knowledge you could gain by downloading 5 books over the next 30 days.


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investment banking books

My Top 5 Banking Books for 2021

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1. Money, Banking & Financial Markets - Stephen Cecchetti & Kermit Schoenholtz



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"Cecchetti & Schoenholtz's Money, Banking, and Financial Markets 6e stays relevant and interesting through the product’s unique emphasis on the Five Core Principles, the early introduction of risk, and an integrated global perspective. 

The integration of FRED data in both the text and problem material. By focusing on the big picture via core principles, Cecchetti teaches students the rationale for financial rules and institutional structure so that even when the financial system evolves, students' knowledge will not be out of date."

Who this book is for:

A comprehensive book for students, Money, Banking & Financial Markets is written by two credible professors with economics and banking backgrounds who have taken great care with this text. 

Rated 4.7/5.0 on Amazon, the scores speak for themselves, and my own copy will not be resold!



2. Investment Banking - Joshua Rosenbaum et al.



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"In the constantly evolving world of finance, a solid technical foundation is an essential tool for success. Due to the fast-paced nature of this world, however, no one was able to take the time to properly codify its lifeblood--namely, valuation and deal making.

Rosenbaum and Pearl originally responded to this need in 2009 by writing the first edition of the book that they wish had existed when they were trying to break into Wall Street.

Launch your career on Wall Street and hone your financial expertise with Rosenbaum and Pearl’s real-world knowledge and forward-looking guidance in the latest edition of Investment Banking: Valuation, LBOs, M&A, and IPOs."

Who this book is for:

With an Amazon rating of 4.7 stars after 30 reviews, this edition of Investment Banking is a standout investment banking book when compared against it's peers.

It's been over 10 years since the launch of the first edition of Investment Banking by Joshua Rosenbaum and others, yet its constantly updated editions remain relevant for todays students and finance professionals as they've ever been. 

Investment Banking will walk you through how to perform the valuation work and financial analysis at the core of Wall Street – comparable companies, precedent transactions, DCF, LBO, M&A analysis and now IPO analytics and valuation.

 



3. Investment Banking Explained - Michael Fleuriet



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"Introduction to Banking 2nd Edition offers a comprehensive insight into the business of banking, providing information about the impact of the financial crisis upon the banking sector globally and the far-reaching regulatory reforms.

Written by expert authors, this book covers both theoretical and applied issues relating to the global banking industry, highlighted by examples from across Europe and the wider international arena. Organised into five main sections, this edition includes a brand new section - advanced topics in banking."

Who this book is for:

Suitable for all undergraduate students taking a course in banking as well as professionals entering the banking industry. 

It also provides solid background reading for postgraduate students who, in this updated edition, can benefit from three new chapters exploring more advanced topics in banking.



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"As our economy evolves, private equity groups, hedge funds, and investment banks compete and cooperate in different ways. Their recent innovations are reported and analyzed by this 3rd edition of David Stowell’s landmark book, which adds three new cases, significantly revisions of most chapters, and updated figures, tables, and exhibits.

It captures the actual work that associates and vice presidents do, providing readers with templates for real transactions.

Finally, it provides significantly more content about the ways liquidity is supplied in secondary markets, including an overview of high frequency trading/electronic market making, quantitative trading strategies, and the evolution of cash equities from open outcry pits to fully electronic central limit order books."

Who this book is for:

Want to learn more about investment banks and other investment houses such as hedge funds and private equity? 

If you're interested in more than just banking, and want to understand how all three of these financial players work and interact, then Investment Banks, Hedge Funds and Private Equity is the title for you. 

It breaks down what work that associates and vice presidents at each of this firms actually do. 

Reviews mention that the Kindle formatting is poor, therefore this is recommended as a physical copy only. 



5. Lords of Finance - Liaquat Ahamed



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"The current financial crisis has only one parallel: the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and subsequent Great Depression of the 1930s, which crippled the future of an entire generation and set the stage for the horrors of the Second World War. Yet the economic meltdown could have been avoided, had it not been for the decisions taken by a small number of central bankers.

In Lords of Finance, we meet these men, the four bankers who truly broke the world: the enigmatic Norman Montaguof the bank of England, Benjamin Strong of the NY Federal Reserve, the arrogant yet brilliant Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichsbanlk and the xenophobic Emile Moreau of the Banque de France."

Who this book is for:

For anyone who wants to recover these names which were once lost to history. Liaquat Ahamed tells their story in vivid and gripping detail, in a timely and arresting reminder that individuals - their ambitions, limitations and human nature - lie at the very heart of global catastrophe."


The Financial Expert™ Best Banking Book Challenge


investment banking books

I challenge you to read one book about banking per month and see if it revolutionises your knowledge of investment banking!


The Financial Expert™ Best Banking Book Challenge is a well-loved feature of this website.

Let's just dwell on the sheer scale of the topic of banking:

Retail banking, money transfers & forex trading. There's mortgages, overdrafts and other types of lending.

There's investment banking activities such as advising clients, underwriting IPOs, trading with the banks capital and acting as counterparty to a myriad of derivatives.

To become well-accustomed to the full world of banking, it would almost take one book per topic listed above. Would it? 

Well that's why I created the best banking book challenge! Here's how it works: 

I challenge you to read one banking book per month for the next year!

That's right, become a generalist rather than an accident specialist by reading books about retail banking, books about investment banking and books about the financial system. Read them all!

12 books might feel like a daunting target, but when you visualise this as 1/4 of a book per week, you will begin to understand that this is only a small time commitment. Pretty trivial compared to most hobbies in comparison. 

Where to begin?

My list of the 5 best banking books above is as good as any place to start. They're mostly aimed at beginners and therefore represent a good point to jump on board with this reading challenge.

Good luck!



What do excellent banking books for beginners include?


Books about banking

"If you owe the bank $100 that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem."

J. Paul Getty

During my search for the best banking books, I discovered that the publishing industry has divided the genre into several distinct sub-genres, which I'll set out here: 

Comprehensive guides to banking in general

Banking books or textbooks that provide an overview of the entire banking sector. 

These books attempt to teach with little depth but plenty of breadth. Aiming to cover:

  • The core activities of banks
  • How banks interact with each other, the financial markets, and central banks.
  • How banks are regulated
  • The history of banking

Introductory explainer guides to banking

Lightweight and accessible paperbacks which have one objective: to explain to anyone what a bank does, and to demystify the role of banks in the economy. 

I refer to these as an 'explainer guides' because they help provide the level of information you'd get from finding an acquaintance who works in banking, and asking them 'What do banks actually do?' at a party. 

Opinion pieces about the regulation or ethics of banking

Following any financial crisis, there is a period of investigations and soul searching in which regulators and politicians attempt to pin the blame (or diffuse responsibility) for the events that have taken place. 

The next stage sees the publishing of books written by industry observers, economists or banking leaders, who wish to share their view on the causes and the lessons learned from the crisis. 

Following the financial crisis of 2007 - 2010, a flurry of banking books hit UK shelves in this category. 

From accounts of the downfall of banks such as Bear Sterns in the US, and Northern Rock in the UK, to critiques of the government response at the time. These banking books make for interesting reading to anyone inside the banking sector. 

Technical guides for bankers

You can also find advanced textbooks which cater to junior finance professionals working in banking already, who want to become 'book' smart on their departments products, risks and regulation. 

These include:

And much more, the full list of finance books is lengthy and perhaps 1/3 of all subgenres could apply to banking directly. 

Exposes and gossip-laden stories - given the colourful lives that bankers have lived, particularly in the 1990s, it should come as no surprise that many industry veterans have gone on to pen memoirs or auto-biographies, or to have others write about them. Think of titles such as The Wolf of Wall Street