Q:

What services do banks provide?

A:

Commercial banks commonly provide checking accounts, savings accounts and various types of loans. Some of their services may overlap with those of investment banks, which focus on speculative transactions such as buying and selling stock.

A commercial bank's main purpose is as a safe place of storage for money. Bank deposits in the United States are usually insured by the FDIC, which guarantees that customers can recover their money if the bank should fail or be robbed.

There are different types of accounts for holding money. Checking accounts allow the customer to write checks on their funds as a form of payment, while savings accounts pay out annual interest on the deposited funds. Both of these basic account types generally come with ATM services and a debit card as well as the ability to send and receive automated recurring payments from the account.

Banks may also issue credit cards and various types of loans to their customers, such as personal loans, auto loans and mortgage loans. Larger branches may also offer the option of renting a deposit box for physical storage of valuables.

Investment services that may be offered by a bank include mutual funds, hedge funds and asset management.

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