Banks, building societies, stock brokerage and asset management firms, insurance and finance companies, retailers and credit unions are the basic types of financial institutions, according to Maps of World. They operate on different principles but all depend on centralizing funds in order to grow and develop their purchasing power and their ability to invest and expand.
Banks are the largest of the many types of financial institutions. They are most often privately owned and use the funds they safeguard to expand through investments, loans and other tactics.
Other institutions help people invest their earnings, give high-interest loans or seek out investment opportunities to gain holds in production. It is a competitive and ever-changing field, notes Maps of World.