Commercial Bank

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What is a 'Commercial Bank'

A commercial bank is a financial institution that provides services, such as accepting deposits, giving business loans and auto loans, mortgage lending, and basic investment products like savings accounts and certificates of deposit. The traditional commercial bank is a brick and mortar institution with tellers, safe deposit boxes, vaults and ATMs. However, some commercial banks do not have any physical branches and require consumers to complete all transactions by phone or Internet. In exchange, they generally pay higher interest rates on investments and deposits, and charge lower fees.

BREAKING DOWN 'Commercial Bank'

Commercial banking activities are different than those of investment banking, which include underwriting, acting as an intermediary between an issuer of securities and the investing public, facilitating mergers and other corporate reorganizations, and also acting as a broker for institutional clients. Some commercial banks, such as Citibank and JPMorgan Chase, also have investment banking divisions, while others, such as Ally, operate strictly on the commercial side of the business.

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