Chapter 1 Industry Overview — Banks and Savings Institutions

Description of Business

1.01 Banks and savings institutions provide a link between entities that have capital and entities that need capital. They accept deposits from entities with idle funds and lend to entities with investment or spending needs. This process of financial intermediation benefits the economy by increasing the supply of money available for investment and spending. It also provides an efficient means for the payment and transfer of funds between entities.

1.02 Government, at both the federal and state levels, has long recognized the importance of financial intermediation by offering banks and savings institutions special privileges and protections. These incentives — such as access to credit through the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve) and federal insurance of deposits — have not been similarly extended to commercial enterprises. Accordingly, the benefits and responsibilities associated with their public role as financial intermediaries have brought banks and savings institutions under significant governmental oversight. Federal and state regulations affect every aspect of banks and savings institutions' operations. Similarly, legislative and regulatory developments in the last decade have radically changed the business environment for banks and savings institutions.

1.03 Although banks and savings institutions continue in their traditional role as financial intermediaries, ...

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