Financial services are economic services provided by the finance industry, which encompasses a broad range of service sector firms that provide financial management. The industry includes credit unions, banks, mutual funds companies, credit-card companies, insurance providers, and the critical financial utilities that support these businesses. Financial services is a massive and diverse sector that touches the lives of people all over the world.
Financial institutions act as intermediaries between savers and borrowers. They take in deposits from the general public and lend out those funds to borrowers, who need capital for various purposes, such as buying a house or starting a business. They also offer investment products such as money market funds and stocks and bonds, as well as provide reinvestment opportunities for those who want to grow their savings.
Regulatory bodies oversee the operations of these financial services firms, upholding transparency and ensuring that consumers are treated fairly. These agencies are usually independent of the firms they regulate, which helps to avoid conflict of interest. They may require licensing and certification from those who wish to operate in the financial services industry, which provides a level of trust between the regulator and consumers.
When people talk about a career in the financial services industry, they often think of jobs like bankers and hedge fund managers. However, the industry is broader than that and includes all those who touch money in one way or another. That includes accounting and tax filing services, mortgage brokers, debt resolution services, global payment networks and credit card machines, as well as stock, derivative and commodity exchanges.
The importance of the financial services industry is reflected in its hefty salaries and excellent promotion prospects. Those who have the right mix of hard and soft skills can become highly successful in this field. However, it is important to note that a degree in the field is not always necessary and many roles in this industry are filled by experienced professionals who have worked their way up through other industries.
As the world makes progress toward financial inclusion, more and more people are opening up bank accounts, getting loans to start businesses, and saving for the future. But the reality is that many people still need help managing their finances. They need more education about the basics of saving and investing, as well as access to affordable financial products that are tailored to their specific needs. This is where the financial wellness industry comes in, and it can have a huge impact on individuals’ physical and mental health, as well as their ability to make sound decisions about their finances. Fortunately, there are now hundreds of organizations working to change the conversation around money and help people get back control of their financial lives. The following are a few of the most influential in the space: