Specialized Banking Institutions
The regulatory framework for banking and finance in a number of countries also covers lower-tier licensed banks that have the legal capability for deposit-taking activities (generally limited to savings and fixed deposits) and for providing loans, but the capability excludes trust and investment services and foreign exchange or trading facilities. In some countries, banking activities may be limited to the geographical market area that is serviced (county or district, province, or region). The limited-service banking institutions, (e. g., rural banks and microfinance banks) are subject to prudential supervision by a country’s central supervisory authority, and they are required to comply with reporting requirements and with applicable prudential standards. Non-bank finance companies involved in rural finance, microfinance, and SME finance—which do not take retail public deposits but are permitted to fund their operations and loan portfolios through commercial borrowings and wholesale, large-value, institutional deposits—are generally required to register and to obtain a license. However, those companies may not be prudentially supervised by a country’s central supervisory authority.