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A bank is a financial institution that provides banking and other financial services. By the term bank is generally understood an institution that holds a banking license. Banking licenses are granted by financial supervision authorities and provides rights to conduct the most fundamental banking services such as accepting deposits and making loans. There are also financial institutions that provides certain banking services with out meeting the legal definition of a bank, a so called Non-bank.

The word bank is derived from the Italian banca, which means bench. The terms bankrupt and "broke" are similarly derived from banca rotta, which refers to an out of business bank, having its bench physically broken. Money lenders in Northern Italy originally did business in open areas, or big open rooms, with each lender working from his own bench or table.

Bank types

There several different types of banks. Some basic types are:

There are many different subtypes, which often are created by the different legal requirements in different countries.

See also: List of banks, Money, Currency, Economics, Piggy Bank

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Bank can also refer to the area of London close to the Bank of England, and to Bank tube station.

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