The financial services industry encompasses a broad range of service sector firms that provide financial management, including credit unions, savings and loan associations, building societies and mutual banks; credit-card companies; the payment-systems providers (e.g., debit cards and electronic funds transfers); and the insurance and wealth-management industries. The industry also includes all companies engaged in financial intermediation or asset management, such as money market brokers and investment firms.
The economic services provided by the financial services industry are a vital component of our nation’s infrastructure and economy, supporting both businesses and consumers. The more vibrant the industry, the stronger our national and world economies become. The wide array of jobs available within the industry can make deciding which role to pursue challenging, but the more experience you gain in your chosen sector, the greater your earning potential.
Among the many sectors of the financial services industry, four are particularly important to consider when choosing your career path:
Banking services – Provide deposit and lending services like loans, money markets and mortgages. This is an essential part of the financial services sector, providing the foundation for saving and investing. Banks themselves are typically divided into retail banks, which offer deposit products and loans, and investment banks, which perform large-scale activities such as securities underwriting and initial public offerings.
The financial services industry also includes credit-card companies, which offer convenient and secure access to money and data. These firms are regulated to protect their customers from fraud and identity theft. The financial services industry also includes debt resolution services, which help people manage their outstanding bills by negotiating with creditors on their behalf. These services can be invaluable in helping a person or business get back on track with their payments, and may be worth investigating if you’re struggling to pay your bills.
In terms of investments, the financial services industry consists of stockbrokers and investment firms that offer a variety of products to investors, such as stocks and bonds. These professionals are a critical part of the financial services sector because they help people diversify their portfolios and invest in new opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford on their own.
Finally, the financial services industry includes insurance providers, which offer protection against unforeseen events like death and injury. These services can help families and businesses protect their assets from loss, as well as cover the cost of healthcare.
In order to survive, the financial services industry must continue to evolve in line with consumer demands and regulatory requirements. In this fast-paced environment, it’s important for employees in the sector to be highly skilled and flexible to stay on top of their game. This is why many employers in this sector invest in employee training and encourage ongoing professional development.