Universal Banking

Universal Banking is a multi-purpose and multi-functional financial supermarket (a company offering a wide range of financial services e.g. stock, insurance and real-estate brokerage) providing both banking and financial services through a single window.
Definition of Universal Banking: As per the World Bank, "In Universal Banking, large banks operate extensive network of branches, provide many different services, hold several claims on firms(including equity and debt) and participate directly in the Corporate Governance of firms that rely on the banks for funding or as insurance underwriters".
In a nutshell, a Universal Banking is a superstore for financial products under one roof. Corporate can get loans and avail of other handy services, while individuals can deposit and borrow. It includes not only services related to savings and loans but also investments.
However in practice the term 'universal banking' refers to those banks that offer a wide range of financial services, beyond the commercial banking functions like Mutual Funds, Merchant Banking, Factoring, Credit Cards, Retail loans, Housing Finance, Auto loans, Investment banking, Insurance etc. This is most common in European countries.
For example, in Germany commercial banks accept time deposits, lend money, underwrite corporate stocks, and act as investment advisors to large corporations. In Germany, there has never been any separation between commercial banks and investment banks, as there is in the United States.
The entry of banks into the realm of financial services was followed very soon after the introduction of liberalization in the economy. Since the early 1990s structural changes of profound magnitude have been witnessed in global banking systems. Large scale mergers, amalgamations and acquisitions between the banks and financial institutions resulted in the growth in size and competitive strengths of the merged entities....