Multiplying, Managing and Securing your Money
A bank is a financial institution licensed to receive deposits and make loans. Banks may also
provide financial services, such as wealth management, currency exchange, and safe
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. Banks act
as payment agents by conducting checking or current accounts for customers, paying
cheques drawn by customers in the bank, and collecting cheques deposited to customers'
current accounts. Banks also enable customer payments via other payment methods such as
Automated Clearing House (ACH), Wire transfers or telegraphic transfer, EFTPOS, and
automated teller machines (ATMs).
Breaking down the different kind of 'Banks'
Commercial banks are typically concerned with managing withdrawals and receiving
deposits as well as supplying short-term loans to individuals and small businesses.
Consumers primarily use these banks for basic checking and saving accounts, certificates of
deposits (CDs) and home mortgages. Examples of commercial banks include JPMorgan
Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp.
Investment banks focus on providing corporate clients with services such as underwriting
and assisting with merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. Morgan Stanley and Goldman
Sachs Group Inc. are examples of U.S. investment banks.
Central banks are chiefly responsible for currency stability, controlling inflation and
monetary policy and overseeing money supply. Some of the world's major central banks
include the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England, the
Bank of Japan, the Swiss National Bank and the People's Bank of China.
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 consumer