Financial services are the businesses that help consumers and companies manage money, from saving to borrowing. The industry covers banks (deposit-taking, lending of all types), credit unions, insurance companies, credit-card companies and more. It also includes investment management, securities brokers and dealers, asset management firms and custodial and depository services. It even extends to companies that provide global payment systems and networks like Visa and Mastercard, as well as debt resolution services and the stock, commodity and derivatives exchanges that facilitate trading.
Despite their complexity, many jobs in the field of financial services offer competitive compensation and benefits packages. The nature of the work often requires extensive travel, and in some cases relocation may be necessary as well. Many employers provide their workers with a strong foundation of on-the-job training and mentoring, as well as opportunities for advancement based on performance and hard work.
When considering a career in financial services, it’s important to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and how this role fits into your overall career plan. According to Duitch, the most common misconception about the financial services industry is that a degree is required for most positions, but this is not always the case. “While a bachelor’s degree can help a candidate stand out in the application process, it is not mandatory for all roles within financial services,” she says.
Regardless of the level of education, all employees in the financial services industry must be trustworthy and knowledgeable, as they deal with sensitive information. They also must be able to work under pressure and meet strict deadlines. The industry is regulated by both state and federal authorities, and most positions require licensing and certifications, which vary by country.
The financial services industry is vast and varied, with some sectors being more specialized than others. For example, some lenders focus solely on providing mortgages, while others, such as banks, provide a variety of banking and credit services. But these lines of distinction are becoming increasingly blurred. This has been fueled by deregulation, which allowed banks to expand their range of products after the 1990s and the rise of multi-service financial conglomerates that offer everything from 401(k)s to credit cards and investments to home loans.
The financial services industry provides a vital service to society, helping individuals and businesses manage their finances. It’s essential to the economy, as it helps people save money and allows them to borrow for investment or consumption purposes when needed. And it allows companies to raise money in order to grow and compete with other businesses. Without this, we would struggle to enjoy the goods and services that we take for granted in our daily lives.