The type of services offered by a bank depends upon the nature of the bank and the country where the bank operates. The services provided by banks usually include checking accounts, saving accounts, and investment advice.
The main function of most banks is directly accepting deposits from the general public and providing check facilities for withdrawal purposes. The provision of the check facilities differentiates banks from other financial institutions.
Lending money to companies, individuals, the government, and other financial institutions is the second major activity of all types of banks. Banks play a vital role in the capital formation of a country through saving and investment functions. They pool the savings of the small investors and general public and utilize the funds by investing the companies or the government.
Banks also render services like facilitating money transactions such as wire transfers and cashiers checks, issuing credit cards and debit cards, and provisioning safe deposit boxes for the storage of valuables. Modern banks also provide sophisticated services like online banking, project financing, leasing, merchant banking, and personal banking. Online banking relieves the customers from time-consuming paper based banking transactions with the help of information technology. Personal banking provides technology-enabled and customized banking products like phone banking and Internet banking.
Banks may undertake merchant banking activities like managing issue of shares, their allotment, and the collection of share amounts on behalf of joint stock companies. Currently, most customers enjoy the benefits of ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) where they can withdraw money from their accounts at any time.