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Financial Institutions

A financial institution (FI) is a company that provides financial services such as lending money, investing funds, and managing accounts. The legal definition of a financial institution varies by jurisdiction, but typically includes banks, credit unions, insurance companies, investment firms, and other companies that offer financial services to consumers and businesses.

Examples of financial institutions include JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citibank (large banks), USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union (credit unions), and Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab (investment firms).

Financial institutions serve a wide range of customers, including individuals, businesses, and government entities. They offer a variety of services such as checking and savings accounts, loans, mortgages, credit cards, investment products, and insurance.

Financial institutions are regulated by government agencies at the federal and state levels. Banks and credit unions, for example, are regulated by the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) at the federal level, and by state banking departments at the state level. Investment firms are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at the federal level, and by state securities regulators at the state level.

This page was last updated on January 17, 2023.