Financial services are a broad group of industries that include banking, credit unions, credit-card companies, consumer-loan agencies, debt resolution providers, and global payment networks and systems. It also includes exchanges that facilitate stock, derivatives, and commodity trades, and accounting and tax-filing firms. In general, financial services institutions offer products that are essential to a country’s economic well-being, including insurance policies, savings and investment accounts, bank loans, credit-card facilities, and more.
Most people are familiar with banks, which provide a variety of financial services such as accepting deposits and lending money to businesses and individuals. Deposit services include checking and savings accounts, which allow customers to secure their funds and earn interest. Lending money includes personal, mortgage, and business loans, as well as credit cards. Other services that financial institutions offer include asset management, debt and equity underwriting, and advising on mergers and acquisitions.
The success of a country’s economy depends on the health of its financial services sector. When this industry thrives, it boosts consumer confidence and purchasing power, while weakening the sector can lead to a recession.
Those who work in financial services typically enjoy high wages, although working conditions can be stressful. It’s not uncommon for employees in some roles to work 16 to 20 hours a day. Choosing the right role for your career goals is crucial in this field, as not all positions pave the way to advancement. It’s important to know your options, which can include working for a large corporation or launching your own company in the finance industry.