Banks worldwide are offering more and more new services that help the customer understand and plan for their future. The bank or financial institution is nothing without the customer and finally the customer is reaping some of the rewards. Visitors to www.choosingabank.com can find out about the best financial institutions, choices, options and the best competitive rates - interest both on loans and term deposits.

With healthy scepticism … surely this is not for the benefit of the customer but really illustrates the need for banks to get competitive. The 10 most successful (profitable) banks in the world listed below show their clear profits for 2003:

Citigroup 20 billion Bank of America 15 billion HSBC 10 billion RBS 8 billion Wells Fargo 7 billion JP Morgan Chase 7 billion United Bank of Switzerland (UBS) 6 billion Wachovia Bank 5 billion Morgan Stanley 5 billion Merrill Lynch 4 billion So with money and big business like this Banks are becoming more and more competitive and more and more client focused.

New Services include:

Flexible and Adaptable Home Loans offer competitive interest rates and more options for first time buyers. Banks rely heavily on the interest that is made on loans as well as investing our ‘banked’ money. So it’s great to see that the customer is being treated with the financial respect that they deserve.

Another great service that banks are offering is low credit card rates and the opportunity to consolidate your other credit card debts. Some rates are as low as .99% for the first few months.

The new customer service policies that the Banks are introducing are also much more user friendly, with all information and terms and conditions in multiple languages and also in basic English. Banking customers are finally having a say and a greater understanding as to what happens to their well earned money.

There are several different types of banks - not just your local one at the end of the high street.

Central banks usually control monetary policy and may be the lender of last resort in the event of a crisis Investment banks underwrite stock and bond issues and advise on mergers Merchant banks engage in trade financing Private banks manage the assets of “high net worth” (rich) individuals Savings banks write mortgages exclusively Offshore banks are banks located in jurisdictions with low taxation and regulation Commercial banks are otherwise undistinguished Banks are now merging and offering a greater service to the small customer. There are huge advantages to banking now … but keep abreast with what’s going on - what’s on offer and you could save literally thousands of dollars!

David Llennac works in the field of Education in Sydney Australia and is the owner of a number of websites including [www.choosingabank.com].