Savings and loan associations are financial institutions that offer loans and mortgages and accept deposits. They are often called credit unions and offer a variety of banking services.

Financial Services

These institutions offer investment products, credit cards, checking accounts, offshore accounts, and others. Some entities also sell insurance products and provide savings accounts, auto loans, and more. Only some credit unions offer current accounts. Some of them offer business current accounts to local businesses. With others, there are no restrictions, but debit cards are not issued to companies. Customers can choose from different credit cards with perks such as commission-free allowance, zero percent on purchases for 6 or 12 months, cashback, fraud guarantee, affordable interest rates, and others. Investment services are also offered in the form of share dealing and annuities. Customers are given the opportunity to invest in stocks of domestic and foreign companies. They are free to create their own investment portfolio and choose from a variety of best-performing funds. Customers also benefit from inheritance tax planning and advice.


First-time buyer and commercial property mortgages are also offered. Customers apply for home loans to finance the purchase of apartments, maisonettes, new condos, etc. The requirements vary from one institution to another. Customers are typically asked to present their bank statements, two recent pay slips, proof of address and identity such as armed forces ID, signed employer ID, passport, or another document. The requirements differ for self-employed applicants and non-salaried and salaried directors. Self-employed applicants must present their bank statements, latest revenue acknowledgement or tax calculation summary or a letter from a recognized accountant. The letter includes information such as net profit, finalized turnover, and others. Recognized accountants are members of institutions such as the Association of Chartered Accountants in the United States. The mortgage amount depends on factors such as expected retirement age, number of dependents, number of applicants, and whether the borrower is an existing or new customer or first time buyer. The requirements are different for new customers who are remortgaging. Lenders feature standard valuation and legal fees. Customers are allowed to borrow up to 85 percent of their home’s value.

Fees and Charges

Those moving home pay legal and valuation fees, telegraphic transfer and product fees, early repayment charges, and booking fees. If you want to borrow more, you will pay product fees only. Arrear fees include charges such as property valuation fees, referral to solicitor, possession fee, cancelled eviction, default notice, as well as monthly arrears. Once the customer’s account is open, he may be asked to pay additional interest rate, letting fee and early repayment charges, unpaid items fees, and arrears fees. Other charges include unpaid items fees, statement projection, and release of part of the land or property.

Other Services

Credit unions offer services such as foreign money transfers, transaction confirmation service, payments to and from customers’ accounts, conveyancing, share plans, and many others.

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The US Banking Giant

by admin on October 3, 2011

Bank heists, dollar bills, rappers and film stars, even the dollar sign itself – globally, no country’s money is as recognizable and popular than that of the United States of America. Across the world, kids dream of making it big in Hollywood, studying at Harvard, or becoming a sports icon like Michael Jordan. And sure, the dollar is a force to be reckoned with as well. But there is a lot of history and idiosyncrasy about this global economic powerhouse, and it needs to be looked at a little bit. This is not a breakdown of sociological causes of America’s wealth – it’s just a little peek into the workings behind the scenes of US Banks, and the role Americans play in keeping it rolling.

American banking goes back a very long time – as far back as 1780! This saw the first real attempt to create a “national bank”, but you have to remember that the war was still raging and the layout of the country was by no means what it is now. This started a trend of trying to merge banks together, instead of operating as smaller private businesses. Of course, the state structure that developed helped to bring these banks together under the auspices of general rules and regulation. Of course, the Wild West mentality was still firmly entrenched in the minds of some, and knocking over a small bank was not a serious issue. Once the banks became regulated under a kind of state law, they could get protection from state officials, work together to protect the funds, give bigger loans and so on.

So, it was the creation of the state structure that really kicked off the big banking revolution. Of course there were still banks that operated on a smaller, more specialized level, but they were generally governed by state offices. And so this system went on, and developed alongside the country itself. We have a movement from fragmented banking systems, towards unification and mutual cooperation.

The States grew, and settled and became fixed, and all was well. But banks could not be run on a state level anymore – someone had to take responsibility and make sure that some form of unity was evident in the country. After all, such a massive country had the ability and resources to ground out financial power, if the individual banking power of each source was harnessed.

So, the government stepped in and started passing national banking laws. The federal level is kind of like the umbrella that policies state financial and banking policies. By creating this ‘big brother’ effect, America has managed to harness the power of its size and economic richness, to become the world superpower that it is. And once again, this is from the movement towards unification.

Banking in the United States has that character, like every bank and every dollar is working together as part of a massive machine of wealth. But don’t be fooled, there are risks. Hiding under a giant is fine, because you are protected, until the giant slips up and squashes you…like the recession. And don’t forget that everyone wants to get one over on the champion.

So next time you are in a bank, or buying something, remember your role in the success of the US economy. Do your part, buy smart and bank smart, so that the country can look after its people and its banks.  Be thankful that US banks fight back on two fronts – federal and state – and try to teach your friends about banking structures. A little understanding really goes a long way. And we all need to lend a hand to keep the giant on our side.

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Merchant Services Worth Considering

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Shopping for Education Loans

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Business Solutions for New and Established Businesses

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Banking Products for Institutional Clients

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Banks offers a range of banking products and services, intended for institutional clients. These include transaction services, commercial banking, and investment analysis and research. Financial institutions also provide capital raising and financial advisory services, including divestitures, mergers and acquisitions, debt, and underwriting and distributing equity. Other services are financial restructuring and distributing derivatives securities. In […]

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