2. Établissement de crédit.
Financial institution that uses funds deposited with it to lend money to companies or individuals, and also provides financial services to its customers. The first banks opened in Italy and Catalonia around 1400.
In 1900 half the world's top ten banks were British; by 1950, the dominant banking nation had become the us, with half of the world's top ten banks based there. In terms of assets, seven of the world's top ten banks were Japanese in 1988.
A central bank (in the us, the Federal Reserve System) issues currency for the government, in order to provide cash for circulation and exchange. A savings bank serves personal accounts and is licensed by the state in which it and its branches may operate. A commercial bank may have branches throughout the nation, since it services businesses, and sometimes becomes an international institution. There are also various forms of both public and private savings and loan companies that are called banks.