In addition to offering federal insured savings products, many banks sell uninsured products, either directly or through an affiliated broker-dealer. Some also offer financial advisory services either directly or through an affiliated instrument adviser firm. Bank-affiliated brokerage firms and investment advisory firms operating under similar compensation arrangements as those operating independently. Banks are regulated for solvency and other conduct through state and federal banking regulators. Bank-affiliated brokerage or investment advisory firms are regulated under state and federal securities laws. When banks engage in the direct sale of securities or investment advice, however, they are generally exempt from the registration and certain other provisions of the securities laws. Bank employees who engage in the direct sales of securities are required to have training that is substantially equivalent to training required for persons who sell securities as registered representatives.
These are usually local, relationship-driven lenders. Most all require personal guarantees of the borrower and are typically portfolio lenders. As conservative, short-term lenders, banks are one of the most inexpensive sources of capital, and are generally not used for "mega-loans." Banks have fairly flexible pricing and terms, but have strict regulation over third-party reports and requirements.