Depository and Non-depository
Commercial banks are often called full service institutions because they offer a wide variety of services, including checking and savings accounts, loans, credit cards, investments, and financial counseling. They operate under state and federal laws and usually are the largest depository institutions. Depository institutions are open to all individuals within a community.
Credit unions are non-profit cooperative institutions that often charge lower fees and loan rates than other depository institutions. They are owned by their members. Government regulatory agencies require credit union members to possess a common bond such as people who live, work, or attend school in a well defined geographical
area. Many credit unions offer financial counseling, credit cards, and mortgages. They often provide a higher interest rate on savings and checking accounts than commercial banks. Credit union accounts offer unique services such as share drafts (checking accounts), and share certificate accounts (saving accounts).
Savings and Loan Associations
Savings and loan associations (S&Ls) focus on providing loans and mortgages to customers as well as offering both savings accounts and checking accounts. Compared to commercial banks, the interest rates are often higher.