In contrast to a special-purpose bank, a universal bank is an institution that conducts all, or almost all, typical aspects of banking business. In Germany, most banks operate as universal banks, which is why the system is called a universal banking system. By contrast, some countries have a separate banking system. In those countries, banks are not permitted to carry out lending operations and securities trading at the same time. As well as providing customers with a one-stop solution, the advantage of a universal banking system is the relatively low susceptibility to shocks because a wider dispersion of risks is possible.