Financial institutions are entities such as banks, insurance companies, brokerages, and even auto dealers and the United States Postal Service. Financial institutions engage in the business of financial and monetary transactions. Banks make money by earning more interest loans than the interest paid on deposits. Brokerages make money through investor trading commissions.
Financial institutions are an important component of the economy. Given the importance of their role, they are heavily regulated by the government. Risk and other metrics critical to the proper functioning of these institutions are closely monitoring through these regulations. Part of their importance is because businesses and consumers depend on financial institutions for loans and other financial transactions.