When you think of the financial services industry, you may envision banks, brokers and mortgage lenders. However, the industry is much more encompassing than that. It covers anything that touches money in any way, including global payment providers like Visa and MasterCard, debt resolution companies and the critical financial market utilities that support all of these other businesses. It is a very important sector to the economy and plays an integral role in everyday life.
What is Financial Services?
The financial services industry includes any company or organization that offers a service related to money, whether it is investment banking, commercial banking, consumer finance or private equity. In addition to those big players, it also includes credit unions, community banks, insurance companies and more. This broad range of firms provides the capital that enables businesses, governments and individuals to function. The health of the economy often depends on the strength of the financial services industry.
Some of the most significant sectors within financial services are banks, credit unions, insurance companies and credit-card companies. These firms provide a variety of essential services, such as deposit-taking and lending of all types; financial leasing; money markets (including securities trading and foreign exchange); and payment and settlement systems.
Banks have made great strides in recent years to modernize their business models and align themselves with customer expectations and technological advances, but they still face challenges from competitors that are able to adjust more quickly to changing conditions. Additionally, banks must balance a number of competing priorities that can include meeting regulatory requirements, enhancing efficiency and maintaining profitability.
Financial services is a vital part of the economic system and a major contributor to the growth of both small businesses and large corporations. Its impact extends to all aspects of daily living, from the purchase of a car or a home to paying for college or medical bills. Almost everyone relies on financial services at some point in their lives.
When it comes to a career in the financial services industry, many people are drawn to its prestige and high salaries. In addition, it is a very social environment that often requires an outgoing personality and the ability to network with people from all walks of life.
Although a bachelor’s degree is required for most jobs in the financial services industry, this is not always the case for entry-level positions. Many employers prefer applicants with a master’s degree, but experience is also key in this industry. A successful financial services career can take you anywhere in the world, as long as you have the right set of skills. For this reason, a job in financial services can be very rewarding, regardless of your educational background. However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding to pursue a job in this field.