A financial services corporation is an institution offering a variety of banking or other financial products and services to businesses and individuals. Financial products and services may include checking or savings accounts, loans and leases, money transfers, and insurance policies, as well as other types of financial services. A financial services corporation may be organized as an insurance company, investment bank, brokerage, credit union, or commercial bank. The specific financial services offered by each institution usually depend on the organizational structure of the company and the government regulations involved with each type of financial service offered to consumers.
A commercial bank is perhaps the most traditional form of a basic financial services corporation. These institutions offer customer services such as checking or savings accounts, bank loans, wire transfer services, and other banking services. Commercial banks are usually for-profit organizations owned by individuals or a conglomerate of businesses. These institutions may also be part of the national banking system for the country in which they reside.
An investment bank is a financial services corporation specializing in the underwriting process corporations use when issuing equity securities. These institutions are usually organized as broker/dealer groups with multiple agents operating in various domestic and international stock exchanges. Investment banks may also offer services to private investment firms, groups, or individuals looking to purchase large amounts of equity securities and public corporations.
Investment banks may also offer brokerage services to businesses and individuals. Brokerage services may be used during the merger and acquisition process, corporate restructuring, or other equity investment purposes. Usually, a government license or other special permissions are required in order to offer brokerage services.
Credit unions are a type of financial services corporation offering various banking and lending services to its members. These organizations are usually owned and operated entirely by their members, who may include individuals associated with specific businesses, formal organizations, colleges or universities, and labor unions. Money deposited into the credit union or withdrawn as a loan usually represents a partial ownership in the credit union organization. Credit unions may be subject to federal or state financial services regulations.
Insurance companies usually offer financial policies to protect businesses or individuals from a potential loss of future capital. Common types of insurance include life, health, auto, and disability, as well as other types of insurance policies. This type of financial services corporation may specialize in one specific insurance policy or include several insurance agents and departments for each insurance type. Insurance companies may offer policies as business group plans or individual policies. Group plans are often presented to company employees as a benefit for working in a particular organization.