commercial bank

commercial bank
A privately owned bank that provides a wide range of financial services, both to the general public and to firms. The principal activities are operating cheque current accounts, receiving deposits, taking in and paying out notes and coin, and making loans. Additional services include trustee and executor facilities, the supply of foreign currency, the purchase and sale of securities, insurance, a credit-card system, and personal pensions. They also compete with the finance houses and merchant banks by providing venture capital and with building societies by providing mortgages.
The main banks with national networks of branches in the UK are the so-called Big Four (the Royal Bank of Scotland group, including NatWest; Barclays, including Woolwich; Lloyds TSB; and HSBC), together with Abbey, HBOS (Halifax/Bank of Scotland), and Alliance and Leicester. They are also known as High-Street banks, joint-stock banks, or retail banks.

Accounting dictionary. 2014.

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