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A bank is a financial institution and a financial intermediary that accepts depo sits and channels those deposits into

lending activities, either directly or thr ough capital markets. A bank connects customers that have capital deficits to cu stomers with capital surpluses. Strengths The "Strengths" portion of the banking industrys SWOT analysis is a list of the i nternal operational elements where the banking industry is succeeding or excelli ng. These elements need to refer to features the industry can control and has a direct power to change. For example, the banking industrys strengths can include record-high annual returns, diversified investment portfolio offerings, decrease s in transaction and trading fees, an increase in the number of ATM machines and increased market share. Weaknesses The "Weaknesses" element of the banking industrys SWOT analysis is a list of the internal operational elements the banking industry needs to improve upon. These elements need to refer to features the industry can control and has a direct pow er to change. For example, the banking industry s weaknesses can include high lo an rates, low bond credit ratings, an increased number of outstanding junk bonds , an increase in loan-sharking activity and an increased number of high-risk inv estment options. Opportunities The "Opportunities" part of the banking industrys SWOT analysis is a list of the external environmental elements the banking industry can potentially take advant age of in the near future or long-term. These external environmental elements sh ould not reflect the internal components of the industry, but rather the factors or features outside the industrys control. For example, the banking industrys opp ortunities can include a growing economy, banking deregulation, increased client borrowing, an increase in the number of banks, an increase in the money supply, low government-set credit rates and larger customer checking account balances. Threats The "Threats" component of the banking industrys SWOT analysis is a list of the e xternal environmental elements that can potentially harm the banking industry. T hese external environmental elements do not reflect the internal components of t he industry, but the factors or features outside the industrys control. For examp le, the banking industrys threats could include a declining economy, increased ba nking regulations, larger capital gains taxes, new high-risk investment vehicles or higher health care costs. Its important to realize these examples are not bla ck and white. For example, new high-risk investment vehicles are inherently a liab ility because they include increased risk, but depending on the financial stake and position, it could be an opportunity or threat.