Financial services is the economy’s most valuable sector, allowing individuals and businesses to spend, save and invest their money securely. The industry includes credit unions, banks, credit-card companies, insurance companies and accountancy firms. It is the backbone of any country’s economy, enabling people to borrow cash for their purchases and business enterprises to invest in new projects. However, the industry has its share of challenges with high competition and thin margins along with compliance issues and a propensity to fraud.
Individuals can also benefit from the financial services industry by gaining control over their personal finances, which will help them be more resilient to unexpected events, enjoy better physical and mental health and be more likely to save for future needs. It is the responsibility of financial services providers, including banks, fintechs and pensions providers, to build their customers’ financial wellbeing and encourage them to make smarter decisions about spending, saving, investing and debt management.
The financial services industry covers a wide range of areas from banking, investment and loans to asset management, capital markets, risk and credit markets. The industry is regulated by government and independent agencies to ensure that consumers are protected and that the companies operate fairly and ethically.
It is a complex industry and there are many career paths to choose from. There are opportunities for a variety of skills and experience, from administration to sales, accounting and more. For those looking to move into leadership, there are a number of top-level positions available in the industry. The pay in this industry isn’t enormous but it is competitive and promotion is often based on merit.
Banks are the heart of the financial services industry and provide a wide range of products and services to their customers. These include savings accounts, checking accounts and lending options. Banks also provide investment opportunities through mutual funds, stock trading and brokerage services. Banks may also offer consumer loans, mortgages and credit cards.
The financial services industry is complex and diverse, but there are a few key areas that you should be aware of. These include: