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The network of institutions and laws that provide a great variety of financial services. At its most basic, banking involves an institution holding money on behalf of customers that is payable to the customer on demand, either by appearing at the bank for a withdrawal or by writing a check to a third party. The banking system also provides loans to businesses and individuals. Many banks also perform other services for a fee; for instance, they offer certified checks to customers guaranteeing payment to third parties. In some countries, they may provide investment and insurance services. With the exception of Islamic banks, banking almost always involves the payment of interest on deposits and reception of interest on loans. Banking is regulated by the laws and central banks of individual countries.