Financial services are the activities, products, and advice provided by the banking industry, investment firms, insurance companies, mortgage lenders, and credit-card issuers. They help individuals and businesses manage their money, make investments and savings, and borrow for purposes like buying a home or starting a business. The industry is one of the largest and most important in the world, contributing to economic growth and stability.
The Financial services sector includes thousands of depository institutions, providers of investment products, insurance companies, and other credit and financing organizations. These organizations serve not only individuals, but also small businesses, large corporations, nonprofits, and governments. The sector also includes independent agencies that oversee different financial institutions to ensure that they operate fairly and ethically.
It wasn’t always this way. Until the 1970s, each segment of the financial services industry mostly stuck to its own niche. Banks offered checking and savings accounts, loan associations gave out mortgages and personal loans, brokerage companies specialized in selling stocks and bonds, and credit card companies gave out their namesake cards. Then, the industry began to merge and a few companies started to offer multiple products.
This was mainly due to the fact that companies found it easier to offer a range of financial products when they were under the same corporate umbrella, rather than being separate entities that had to comply with different rules and regulations. In addition, companies realized that it was possible to increase profits and market share by offering a range of financial products, rather than being competitive in only a few segments of the market.
However, not everyone is happy with the way this new trend has affected the industry. Some analysts argue that the increased consolidation has led to higher costs and less competition, as big financial services companies buy up smaller ones and combine their operations. This is especially true in the U.S., where the law prevents a company from owning a bank and an insurance firm, or a brokerage and a bank.
Despite these concerns, many people still find jobs in financial services. The industry offers a variety of career options, and pays better than most other sectors. It also provides valuable skills that can be used in other industries. And, unlike other sectors, this industry is not affected by layoffs due to the economy.
The good news is that the industry is booming, and there are more opportunities than ever before for people with the right set of skills. As the world continues to evolve, more and more people will need financial services in order to keep up with their changing needs.
The most popular careers in financial services include bankers, brokers, and credit union employees. But, there are many other jobs in the sector that can be just as rewarding, including: