What Is a Limited Service Bank?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2019
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A limited service bank is a type of banking location that offers only a portion of the total financial services provided by the main operation or larger branches of the banking corporation. Banks of this type are sometimes located in or near residential areas and provide a roster of the more common banking services to serve clients, while still offering a wider range of services at branches that are considered full-service. A slightly different type of limited service bank is a banking corporation that offers only a select range of financial services at any of its branches.

As the term relates to the establishment of smaller and more specialized branches, a limited service bank is usually a branch that provides basic services such as the ability to make deposits and withdrawals from established bank accounts. In some cases, this limited branch may provide drive-up services only, or be limited to strictly walk-in traffic. With this application, services such as the ability to apply for a loan or establish new accounts cannot be managed at the limited service bank, but can be conducted at a full service branch that is located elsewhere in the city.


When limited service bank is used to identify the scope of services provided by a banking corporation, the term usually indicates that the corporation will only offer certain services to its clientele. For example, if a bank does offer checking and savings accounts along with loan services, but does not offer credit card services or investment services to its clients, it may be classed as a limited service bank. In some cases, this type of banking enterprise may partner with other firms that offer those additional services, allowing customers to access them with relative ease, courtesy of the affiliate agreement that exists between the financial entities. When this sort of arrangement is in place, customers can often receive discounts on those additional services, owing to their established relationship with the limited service bank.

Being classified as a limited service bank does not mean the institution is lacking in quality or reputation. It is not unusual for certain types of banks to specialize in certain types of financial services as a means of providing highly competent support for customers who are especially interested in those particular services. As with any type of banking institution, consumers should evaluate both the range of services provided and the general reputation of the institution before choosing to establish accounts.


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