A banking system that provides a broad variety of both commercial and investment financial services. Universal banks may offer asset management, investment advisory, payment processing, underwriting, financial analysis, credit, loans and deposits, all at once. Today all major countries allow universal banking. The advantage of universal banking is that it allows a bank to better diversify its risk, as its revenues are generated from various business lines.
According to some, the disadvantage of the universal bank model is that the high-risk trading business (the ‘casino’) may threaten the low-risk side of the business (the ‘utility’).