The financial services industry is broad and diverse, with many different types of professional firms and products. It encompasses everything from banks and mortgage lenders to investment funds and insurance companies. It also includes critical financial market utilities, such as stock exchanges and clearing houses.
There are many benefits of working in the financial services industry, including high salaries and excellent job satisfaction. Most professionals in this sector also have great career mobility, as most firms are global organizations with a presence in multiple countries around the world. However, it’s important to consider all the pros and cons of this sector before deciding on a path to take.
When people think of financial services, they often envision banking, mortgage lenders, and credit card companies. However, those are just three of the many different segments within this massive industry. There are thousands of depository institutions, providers of investment products, and insurance firms, among others. It’s also important to remember that the financial services industry doesn’t just serve consumers; it provides services to small businesses, large corporations, and even governments.
Consumer financial services — such as personal loans, credit cards, and mortgages — are an essential part of the economy. These types of financial services allow individuals to obtain access to capital and make big purchases that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. In addition, these types of financial services can help individuals manage their debt more effectively and get out of a sticky financial situation.
Investment services — such as brokering and asset management — provide individuals with options to invest their money. These types of financial services can help individuals grow their wealth over time through smart investment decisions.
Commercial banking services — such as underwriting, lending, and investing in debt and equity — are provided by traditional commercial banks to large corporations and other entities that need capital for growth. These financial services can also include risk management, asset monetization, and other complex investment strategies.
Debt resolution services — such as credit counseling and bankruptcy assistance — are designed to help individuals who have too much debt to pay it off as quickly as possible without filing for bankruptcy. These types of financial services can be beneficial to society as a whole, as they help individuals avoid taking on debt that they may not be able to repay.
Regulatory agencies are responsible for overseeing the operations of different financial services firms and making sure they’re following all applicable laws. These independent bodies are a vital part of the financial services industry, as they ensure that consumers are protected and treated fairly by all financial services companies. Two of the most prominent regulatory agencies in this industry are the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.