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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How to Choose a Bank

A bank is a financial institution whose primary activity is to act as a payment agent for customers and to borrow and lend money. It is an institution for receiving, keeping, and lending money.

The first modern bank was founded in Italy in Genoa in 1406,[citation needed] its name was Banco di San Giorgio (Bank of St. George).

Many other financial activities were added over time. For example banks are important players in financial markets and offer financial services such as investment funds. In some countries such as Germany, banks are the primary owners of industrial corporations while in other countries such as the United States banks are prohibited from owning non-financial companies. In Japan, banks are usually the nexus of cross share holding entity known as zaibatsu. In France "Bancassurance" is highly present, as most banks offer insurance services (and now real estate services) to their clients.

While choosing a bank may not sound like a big deal, you can benefit from putting some thought into the decision.

*Consider banks near your home, work, or school. If you need to get a cashier's check or complete other transactions in person, convenience will count.

*Do you want to bank with a small, local bank, or a larger one with locations across the country?

*Once you narrow down your choices, visit their web sites to see the types of accounts and rates they offer.

*Visit a branch or two in person and note if the employees are friendly, if the lines are moving quickly, or if people are in line out the door.

*Finally, compare the different kinds of accounts, taking into consideration account and ATM fees.

The time you put into choosing a bank can make doing your banking easier, and save you a significant amount in fees and other charges.

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