There are three major types of deposit-taking institutions in the United States: banks, thrifts, (which include savings and loan associations and savings banks), and credit unions. These types of institutions have become more like each other in recent decades, and their unique identities have become less distinct. They still differ, however, in specialization and emphasis, and in their regulatory and supervisory structures. Commercial banks are the “department stores” of the financial services world. The thrift institutions and credit unions are more like specialty shops that, over time, have expanded their lines of business to better compete for market shares.