What does a balance sheet bank mean and what line item on their BS represents this?

Sorry for the dumb question, just something I was wondering about. I've seen a lot of comparisons between banks and how some banks use their balance sheets to win business.

From what I gather, BS banks mean that they have more ability to lend or underwrite rather than just advise. What line item on the balance sheet shows this?

Along the same lines, is it better or worse to work at a balance sheet bank from a career perspective?


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Comments (2)

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
May 4, 2021 - 1:57pm

The loan portfolio in the asset side, funded by deposits and short term borrowing on the liability side.

"Balance sheet bank" can refer to Citi/BAML/JPM because they have big balance sheets, but their advisory would stand on its own if separated. So usually it's a pejorative to refer to places like Wells or RBC that (arguably) win the vast majority of their m&a business because companies feel they owe them money for being arranger on their revolver or in on their term loan.

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