The Financial Services Industry

When most people think of the Financial services industry, they probably picture banks, mortgage lenders and brokerage firms. However, the industry is much more than just those three sectors. It also includes insurance companies, securities traders, investors and financial advisors. In addition, it provides small and large businesses, as well as nonprofits with the financial services that they need.

The field is quite diverse, with opportunities for careers in everything from accounting to global payment services. Many financial services companies are known for promoting from within and valuing aptitude over tenure, which is great news for those seeking a career in the field. With new tools and platforms appearing on the market seemingly daily, many employers will offer extensive training and ongoing mentoring programs to help employees grow their skill sets and advance quickly.

The types of firms that make up the Financial services sector vary from country to country, but generally include central banks; depository institutions (like savings and loans associations or credit unions); providers of investment products such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds; insurance companies and pension plans; diversified financial services companies; and providers of critical financial utilities such as credit card networks and services and currency exchange and wire transfer services. It also includes asset management companies and private banking services, which provide banking and other financial services to high-net-worth individuals and families. Other specialized companies in this sector include underwriters, who evaluate and approve insurance policies; and reinsurers, who sell insurance to the insurers themselves to protect them against catastrophic losses.