savings and loan

Primary tabs

Savings and loanĀ (S&L) associations (also called thrifts) are lending and banking institutions specialized in offering residential mortgage loans and accepting savings deposits. S&L associations may also offer other services that commercial banks provide to their customers, such as checks and other types of loans.

S&L associations organize cooperatively or corporately. In the first case, depositors and borrowers own the S&L under a mutual ownership model. In the second case, shareholders own the S&L under a stock ownership model ruled by a charter.

S&L associations may be chartered at either the state or federal level. The Office of Thrift Supervision monitors the activities performed by S&L associations to ensure that they operate safely and soundly and in compliance with all applicable financial regulations.

[Last updated in July of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]