Commercial banks are responsible for most banking transactions in the United States, including checking and savings accounts, real estate and business loans, and credit cards. As such, there are advantages and disadvantages to dealing with commercial banks.
The most noticeable advantage of commercial banks is their retail store setup. Most are large, global companies, and they have hundreds of retail locations in major cities. This gives you the ability to access your money and accounts from virtually any location.
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Another advantage is commercial banks' ability to provide low prices. They act like wholesale companies buying in bulk and selling at a discount. Most commercial banks will not charge fees to open or maintain checking and savings accounts, and their real estate loans are usually offered at low interest rates.
Personal Service Sacrificed
Commercial banks are set up to close thousands of deals every day. Because of this, personal service is sacrificed. You often can talk to a manager at a local bank, but commercial banks have centralized call centers to handle problems and disputes.
More Product Offerings
Commercial banks can offer more products and services to their customers. A commercial bank will offer everything a small, local bank does, plus CDs, investment accounts, commercial real estate loans, and credit and debit cards.
Credit Tough to Find
If you operate a business and need company credit, commercial banks are probably not the best place for you. Commercial banks are not as in-tune with the local business economy and have rigid guidelines for opening lines of credit.