Universal Bank


The term universal bank refers to a financial institution that provides services offered by both commercial banks as well as investment banks.  Universal banks can offer their customers deposit accounts in addition to investment advice.


Also referred to as a full-service financial institution, a universal bank provides a large array of services, including those of commercial banks and investment banks.  The types of services offered include deposit accounts such as checking and savings, loans and credit, asset and wealth management, buying and selling securities, financial and investment advice, and even insurance products.

In the United States, the Banking Act of 1933, also known as the Glass-Steagall Act, separated commercial banking from investment banking; identifying them as separate lines of commerce.  Examples of universal banks include Deutsche Bank, ING Bank, UBS, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Barclays, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

Related Terms

postal savings bank, offshore bank, mutual savings bank, Islamic bankv