Retail Banking (Consumer Banking)

Definition

The term retail banking refers to a financial institution that specializes in offering services to individual consumers, rather than businesses.  Retail banking services include providing consumers with savings and checking accounts, personal loans, mortgages, debit cards as well as credit cards.

Explanation

Also known as consumer banking, retail banks specialize in providing services to individual consumers.  Retail banking establishments are oftentimes branches of larger financial institutions, which might also provide businesses with investment or commercial banking services.

Retail banking services include offerings such as checking, savings and money market accounts; debit and ATM cards; credit cards; issuing of traveler's checks; writing mortgages and home equity loans; writing personal loans; maintaining individual retirement accounts; and offering longer term savings solutions such as certificates of deposit.  Local branch offices may also offer consumers financial advice in areas such as wealth management and retirement planning; oftentimes through affiliations with organizations that specialize in providing these services.

Related Terms

shadow bank, nominated bank, issuing bank, assuming institution