To what extent is it correct to refer to a credit union as a bank? Is it correct to use the verb "banking" when referring to credit unions, for example "I do my banking at Northern Credit Union"?

One last question, when I looked up the definition of banking on Google how come it says it's a noun?

closed as off-topic by Kris, MetaEd, phenry, RyeɃreḁd, Kristina Lopez Mar 4 '14 at 19:12

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  • Maybe google is thinking of an embankment, or something of that sort. – keshlam Mar 3 '14 at 4:46
  • Recommended migration to appropriate SE site, or SO. – Kris Mar 3 '14 at 6:24
  • Regarding banking as a noun, that's a good question for English Language Learners. – Kris Mar 3 '14 at 6:25
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    This question would be better asked at money.stackexchange.com. – phenry Mar 3 '14 at 17:10
  • While I agree that this could be posted on money.stackexchange.com, I think it is not a bad question for this one, too. The problem lies in the definition of credit union as a bank or not. If we resolve that issue, then I think no one will have an issue with posting this question here. And, given that Credit Unions serve many of the same functions as traditional banks, I would say yes it is appropriate to use the word banking here. – David M Mar 3 '14 at 17:23

To what extent is it correct to refer to a credit union as a bank?

To the extent that the differences don't matter or the distinction adds no clarity. A "bank robbery" that hit a credit union is more or less fine, and answering "which credit union do you use" with the name of a bank, though a bit odd, is entirely kosher.

Be aware that, since a credit union is an institution for receiving, lending, exchanging, and safeguarding money, it fits most non-technical definitions for "bank".

Is it correct to use the verb "banking" when referring to credit unions?

Yes. Given the absence of any similarly appropriate verb form of "credit union", it is fair to use the same word to describe the activities one does at both.

Why did Google call Banking a noun?

Well, based on what I see when I search "define banking" at Google.com, I would hazard because their database lists noun forms before verbs, and their first definition is a noun form. You can click the little down arrow to see the complete definition list, which is a neat little thing I wasn't aware google could do.

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    Grammatically, I would think banking is a gerund. Which is defined as a noun/used as a noun. A very old one, older than Thanksgiving, also a noun. :) – anongoodnurse Mar 3 '14 at 1:21
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    It seems to me that "credit union" is something of a subset of "bank", in informal usage. So answering the question, "What bank do you use?" with "The East Coast Credit Union" is common, but answering the question "What Credit Union do you use?" with "The East Coast Bank" is a bit odd. – Wayne Mar 3 '14 at 4:59
  • @Wayne, is it any more odd than asking "what credit union do you use?" – DougM Mar 3 '14 at 16:19
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    @DougM: Good point. But that doesn't make "'answering which credit union do you use' with the name of a bank" any less odd. Both cases are odd because in informal usage a credit union is a specialized kind of bank. I've given your answer a +1, but I think that sentence is misleading. – Wayne Mar 3 '14 at 16:59
  • I'll make a minor edit. – DougM Mar 3 '14 at 17:39

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