Thrift Bank

DEFINITION of 'Thrift Bank'

A financial institution focusing on taking deposits and originating home mortgages. Thrift banks often have access to low-cost funding from Federal Home Loan Banks, which allows for higher savings account yields to customers and increased liquidity for mortgage loans.

Also known as "savings and loan associations".

BREAKING DOWN 'Thrift Bank'

Thrift Banks tend to be community-focused, and smaller than retail and commercial banks. While the main lines of business continue to be loan origination and savings deposits, many thrifts offer checking accounts and other basic banking services. The thrift banking system was created in an attempt to transition mortgage loan origination away from insurance companies and into banking institutions, as early mortgages were often set up as interest-only loans that often couldn't be repaid when balloon payments came due.

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