Financial services is an industry that focuses on providing consumers with the products and services needed to manage their finances. It includes banks, brokers and mortgage lenders; but also insurance companies, securities traders, investors and financial advisors.
The industry helps people save money to build up their savings and invest in goods and services. The industry’s success depends on people being able to trust the companies they use, and it is highly regulated by independent agencies that oversee different sectors’ operations.
Retail banking – This sector provides accounts and credit to consumers, small businesses and large corporations. Its services include checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages and loans. Commercial or investment banking – This sector provides account and credit products to businesses and investors, as well as investment services.
Banking – The largest and most well-known of the financial services industry, this sector involves a variety of sectors that handle various types of consumer banking transactions, such as mortgages, loans, checking and savings accounts, and credit cards. There are also corporate, commercial or business banking segments that focus on small to large-sized companies.
Asset management – This is the next sector in the financial services industry that handles all types of pensions, insurance assets, hedge funds and mutual funds. It includes the same functions that a finance firm would need to perform in this area, including pension and retirement planning, insurance underwriting, and reinsurance (selling insurance to insurers themselves to reduce their risk).
This is an ever-growing industry that offers a wide range of career opportunities for people with a broad mix of skills. While some positions require a degree, others require only a high school diploma or equivalent.