A bank is an institution for receiving cash and lending out loans. Its earnings come from the interests charged on the loans lent out to its customers.
Some Christians may have concerned with whether interests should be charged on loan. Let us examine these verses that prohibit charging interests in Exodus 22:25, 25:36, Leviticus 25:36 and 37, and Deuteronomy 23:19. These verses clearly wrote that God commanded the Israelites not to charge fellow Israelites interests when they lent out the money to the needy. This is an exclusive command. The verses were written to the Israelites after they were liberated from the Egyptian and going to settle in a new land, the Promised Land. Following the verse in Deuteronomy 23:19, in Deuteronomy 23:20 God commanded not to charge the fellow Israelites interests, God made the exception for the Israelites to charge interests for the loan given to the foreigner.
God viewed the act of no interest borrowings as an act of kindness to the needy. Although the lender will suffer financial lose when no interest is charged, God has promised to bless those who obey His command. Hence, the act of not charging interests will be viewed as an act of kindness and faith on God.
Matthew recorded in 22:20-22 that Jesus recognized that there were 2 systems operating – the God’s system and the Caesar’s system and Jesus instructed to give to Caesar what belong to Caesar and to God what belong to God. Was not the earth created and belonged to God?
There was an intense dispute recorded in Acts 15 between the Jews and the Gentiles with regards to circumcision and the dispute was settled in the Jerusalem Council. The result was the Gentiles needed not to circumcised to be saved and to be disciples of Jesus. The reason was and is that salvation is by grace not by work. Nevertheless, we can observe the operation of 2 different systems.
When we read Matthew 25 and Luke 19 we read that Jesus reprimanded the laziness of the servant who failed to multiply his talent like the other two. Jesus reprimanded that the servant should have deposited the talent with the banker to earn interest if he would not work hard and invested it on his own.
Although interest is not prohibited, we are prohibited to exploit the needy, to demand exorbitant interests, to be greedy. And, we are responsible to take care of the poor. Taking care of the poor has been highly encouraged as a noble ministry in Galatians 2:10. Good bankers are responsible to the society and to serve the poor and needy. Many of the bankers have already been recognized in building houses for the poor and take ownership to care for the needy.