A bank financial institution is a commercial bank that establishes relationships with retail customers and businesses. Its mission is to provide loans and other financial products to its customers, as well as a safe place for customers to keep their money.
Non-bank financial institutions include broker-dealers, thrift savings and insurance companies. These financial institutions provide services that are similar to those found in banks, but operate under different rules and regulations.
Broker-dealers are investment banks that are in the business of helping companies obtain capital in the financial markets. These firms are organized under Federal securities laws and the laws of the states in which they do business.
Thrift savings are also referred to as savings and loans associations. These financial institutions are the most similar to traditional banks in that they provide loans for mortgages and personal use and deposit customer’s monies. A thrift savings institution is regulated by the Office of Thrift Supervision in Washington, D.C.
Insurance companies provide risk management tools for their customers, such as life, health and homeowner’s insurance. There is no Federal oversight of insurance companies who are subject to the state insurance commissions of the respective states they do business in.