In financial market there are many types of financial institutions or intermediaries exist for the flow of funds. Some of them involve in depositary type of transactions whereas other involve in non-depositary type of transactions. The type of financial institutions can be divided into two types as follows:
1. Depository Institutions
The depository types of financial institutions include banks, credit unions, saving and loan associations and mutual saving banks
* Commercial banks
Commercial banks are those financial institutions, which help in pooling the savings of surplus units and arrange their productive uses. They basically accepts the deposits from individuals and institutions, which are repayable on demand. These deposits from individuals and institutions are invested to satisfy the short-term financing requirement of business and industry.
* Credit Unions
Credit unions are cooperative associations where large numbers of people are voluntarily associated for savings and borrowing purposes. These individuals are the members of credit unions as they make share investment along with deposits. The saving generated from these members are used to lend the members of the union only.
* Saving And Loan Associations
Saving and loan associations are the financial institutions involved in collecting funds of many small savers and lending these funds to home buyers and other types of borrowers.
* Mutual Saving Banks
Mutual saving banks are more or less similar to saving and loan associations. They primarily accepts savings of individuals and they are lent to the home users and consumers on a long-term basis.
2. Non-depository Institutions
Non-depository institutions are not banks in real sense. They make contractual arrangement and investment in securities to satisfy the needs and preferences of investors. The non-depository institutions include insurance companies, pension funds, finance companies and mutual funds.
* Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are the contractual saving institutions which collect periodic premium from insured party and in return agree to compensate against the risk of loss of life and properties.
* Pension/Provident Funds
Pension funds are financial institutions which accept saving to provide pension and other kinds of retirement benefits to the employees of government units and other corporations. Pension funds are basically funded by corporation and government units for their employees, which make a periodic deposit to the pension fund and the fund provides benefits to associated employees on the retirement. The pension funds basically invest in stocks, bonds and other type of long-term securities including real estate.
* Finance Companies
Finance companies are the financial institutions that engage in satisfying individual credit needs, and perform merchant banking functions. In other words, finance companies are non-bank financial institutions that tend to meet various kinds of consumer credit needs. They involve in leasing, project financing, housing and other kind of real estate financing.
* Mutual Funds
Mutual funds are open-end investment companies. They are the associations or trusts of public members and invest in financial instruments or assets of the business sector or corporate sector for the mutual benefit of its members. Mutual funds are basically a large public portfolio that accepts funds from members and then use these funds to buy common stocks, preferred stocks, bonds and other short-term debt instruments issued by government and corporation.