Savings and loans (S&L) companies offer many of the same services to customers as banks, including deposits, loans, mortgages, checks and debit cards. Savings and credit associations, however, place a stronger emphasis on residential mortgages, while banks usually focus on working with large companies and on unsecured credit services such as credit cards. S & Ls are also differently owned and chartered than banks and are generally more locally oriented.

Banks can be rented at national or federal level. The same applies to S & Ls, also called economy, savings banks or savings institutions. However, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is responsible for overseeing all nationally chartered commercial banks, while the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTC) is responsible for S&Ls.

S & Ls can be owned in two ways. Under the so-called mutual ownership model, an S&L can be owned by its iGulley Jimsoneggers and borrowers. Alternatively, an S&L may be instituted by a consortium of shareholders who manage shares issued by the charter of a circle.

Banks, on the other hand, are owned and managed by a board of directors, selected by shareholders. Many commercial banks are large multinational companies.


S & Ls can legally borrow up to 20% of their assets for business loans, and only half of them can be used for small business loans. In addition, a Federal House Loan Bank must be able to demonstrate that 65% of its assets are invested in residential mortgages and other consumer-related assets. The banking system does not have such restrictions.

In contrast to the narrower focus of S & L’on residential mortgages, banks generally offer a wider range of financial offers, often including credit cards and asset management and investment banking services. Although banks are allowed to offer residential mortgages, they tend to raise loans aimed at the building and expansion needs of regional, national and international companies.