A financial institution licensed as a receiver of deposits. There are two types of banks: commercial/retail banks and investment banks. In most countries, banks are regulated by the national government or central bank.


Loading the player...


Commercial banks are mainly concerned with managing withdrawals and deposits as well as supplying short-term loans to individuals and small businesses. Consumers primarily use these banks for basic checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit and sometimes for home mortgages. Investment banks focus on providing services such as underwriting and corporate reorganization to institutional clients.

While many banks have both a brick-and-mortar and online presence, some banks have only an online presence. Online-only banks often offer consumers higher interest rates and lower fees. Convenience, interest rates and fees are the driving factors in consumers' decisions of which bank to do business with. As an alternative to banks, consumers can opt to use a credit union.

  1. Investment Bank - IB

    A financial intermediary that performs a variety of services. ...
  2. Dual Banking System

    The system of banking that exists in the United States in which ...
  3. Thrift Bank

    A financial institution focusing on taking deposits and originating ...
  4. Retail Banking

    Typical mass-market banking in which individual customers use ...
  5. Wholesale Banking

    Banking services between merchant banks and other financial institutions. ...
  6. Merchant Bank

    A bank that deals mostly in (but is not limited to) international ...
Related Articles
  1. Savings

    Best Ways to Send Large Sums of Money Abroad

    Understand why it may be difficult to send large sums of money internationally. Learn about the top five ways to send large sums of money abroad.
  2. Investing Basics

    What is a Bank?

    A bank is a financial institution licensed to receive deposits or issue new securities to the public.
  3. Economics

    The Federal Reserve

    Few organizations can move the market like the Federal Reserve. As an investor, it's important to understand exactly what the Fed does and how it influences the economy.
  4. Insurance

    Bag The Best Bank Account

    Take advantage of the deals banks offer, and find the right account for your financial situation.
  5. Retirement

    Tired Of Banks? Try A Credit Union

    These nonprofit organizations can provide a range of services for lower fees.
  6. Credit & Loans

    The Evolution Of Banking

    Banks are a part of ancient history. Find out how this system of money management developed into what we know today.
  7. Forex Education

    Get To Know The Major Central Banks

    The policies of these banks affect the currency market like nothing else. See what makes them tick.
  8. Insurance

    What Is The World Bank?

    You've heard of the World Bank, now find out how it functions and why some groups oppose it.
  9. Personal Finance

    What Are Central Banks?

    They print money, they control inflation, and much, much more. All you need to know about central banks is here.
  10. Retirement

    The Best Way To Borrow

    There are many avenues from which to drum up funding. Find out the pros and cons of each.
  1. Which US cities have the highest number of high-income households?

    According to the most recent U.S. Census report on the geographic concentration of high-income households conducted in 2 ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How does investing in banks in emerging markets compare to developed countries?

    Investing in banks in emerging markets compared to developed countries has its advantages and disadvantages. On the plus ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What happens when my bank account is debited?

    When your bank account is debited, it means money is taken out of the account. The opposite of a debit is a credit, in which ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between a savings & loan company and a bank?

    Savings and loan (S&L) companies provide many of the same services to customers as banks, including deposits, loans, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Are there any legal monopolies in America or Europe?

    There are legal monopolies in almost every country, but their numbers are declining. For several decades the political climate ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What do states do with unclaimed property?

    Unclaimed property refers to personal accounts in financial institutions or companies that have had no activity and whose ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  2. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  3. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  4. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
  5. Black Monday

    October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost almost 22% in a single day. That event marked the beginning ...
  6. Monetary Policy

    Monetary policy is the actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory committee that determine the size and ...
Trading Center