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A banking license is a prerequisite for a financial institution that wants to provide banking services. Under most jurisdictions the fundamental banking activities, such as taking deposits from the general public are exclusive to holders of a banking license. A non-banking financial company is an institution that provides financial services without meeting the legal definition of a bank, such as holding a banking license.
Licenses are typically issued by the banking regulatory body in which the bank is established. There is a relatively long and complicated procedure that goes into the application. This procedure will also depend on the type of bank license that you wish to apply for. Licensing is generally broken down into different categories, while each category has a different specialization, and a different time frame involved in the banking license application process.
Due to the number of different sectors in which banks may be involved, there are also bank licensing packages available. The main bank license is the one that allows the bank to engage in all of the activities that one would expect a major bank to partake in, including retail banking, merchant acquiring, cash management, asset management and trading. Obtaining a bank license that allows you to engage in all of these activities will generally take the longest, and cost the most. Additionally, however, you can apply for one that has fewer or even only one specialization.
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