The basic services of modern banks ain’t what they used to be. Previously, banks offered checking, savings, CDs, and loans, mostly home loans and car loans. Today, they have credit cards and a multitude of other products, mainly various types of loans and lines of credit. You can also get ATM/debit cards in connection with your checking account. Most banks also now offer investment products including stock investment brokers and online brokerage services.
The lines have become blurred between what is a bank and what is not. General Motors, for example, has been losing money on their vehicle sales but making money with their financial services. Companies like American Express offer all kinds of financial services. A number of online financial services, like stock brokerages and currencies traders, also offer basic banking services such as checking and savings.
Online savings companies like Ing Direct give customers a high rate of return on their savings. They also sell CDs and make home loans. They have now instituted checking accounts with high interest returns for high balances. All of your basic savings, checking, and CDs are guaranteed for $100,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Other types of investments, like money market accounts, are not.
Along with the financial services mentioned above, some banks offer a variety of services to their customers, including financial planners and retirement planners. As a depositor, you can sometimes avail yourselves of these services for a minimal fee. Some also offer tax services.
This listing of current bank products is far from exhaustive and new services are being added all of the time. Most banks claim to be “full-service” banks and promise to take care of all of your financial needs.