A banking license is a legal prerequisite for a financial institution that wants to carry on a banking business. Under the laws of most jurisdictions, a business is not permitted to carry words like a bank, insurance, national in their name, unless it holds a corresponding license. Depending to their banking regulations, jurisdictions may offer different types of banking licenses, such as
- full banking licenses for general banking activities, such as taking deposits from the general public
- international banking licenses (offshore banking licenses), which prohibits any local business activities
- non-banking financial institution (NBFI) is an institution that provides financial services but has to comply with fewer regulations than one with a full banking license.