Banks have traditionally been distinguished according to their primary functions. Commercial banks, which include national- and state-chartered banks, trust companies, stock savings banks, and industrial banks, have traditionally rendered a wide range of services in addition to their primary functions of making loans and investments and handling demand as well as savings and other time deposits. Mutual savings banks, until recently, accepted only savings and other time deposits, and offered limited types of loans and services. The fact that commercial banks were able to expand or contract their loans and investments in accordance with changes in reserves and reserve requirements further differentiated them from mutual savings banks, where the volume of loans and investments was governed by changes in customers' deposits. Membership in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is compulsory for all Federal Reserve member banks but optional for other banks.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.