Financial services are a sector of the economy that helps consumers to manage money. This includes banks, credit card companies, brokers, mortgage lenders and more.
A strong financial services sector can help a country’s economy thrive. But when the sector fails, it can slow economic growth or even lead to a recession.
It also serves businesses, nonprofits and even the government, providing them with the necessary finances.
When you think of financial services, you probably envision big banks and hedge fund managers. But the industry is much more complex than that.
Banks provide checking and savings accounts; loan associations offer mortgages and personal loans; and brokerage firms sell consumer investment products like stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
They may also have a service department that provides customer service and insurance.
Some of these entities provide consumer finance, such as helping people afford products and services by charging them in installments over a period of time. Other financial services companies offer credit cards and student loans.
The financial services industry is a diverse sector that impacts everyone in large and small ways. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry with many moving parts and stakeholders, and it’s constantly evolving.
Depending on the specific career path you pursue, you’ll need a mix of hard and soft skills to succeed. If you’re smart, quick-thinking and a team player, you could thrive in this field.
The financial services industry is a vital part of the economy, supporting growth and facilitating the flow of capital. When it’s healthy, a nation’s economy and its citizens enjoy greater purchasing power and confidence. When the industry fails, the economy suffers.