Financial services is a broad term used to describe a variety of products and services that are offered within the finance industry. This includes everything from insurance and money management to payments and digital banking technology.
Banking and financial institutions are the base of any economy, serving the public through deposit-taking, lending and investment activities. These organizations are regulated by their country’s central bank, insurance regulators and pension fund regulators to ensure that they maintain high levels of stability and growth.
There are a number of different types of financial services, including retail banking, commercial banking and investment banking. Generally, each type of service offers a different set of services for both consumers and businesses.
Retail or personal banking – Offers financial services for individuals, such as checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards and mortgages. These services are typically provided by large banks, though smaller banks and regional community banks also offer similar products.
Business or corporate banking – Serves smaller companies and larger corporations, offering products like loans and accounts. These banks also provide business loans to individuals and small businesses, but these are usually more expensive than the products offered by consumer banks.
Insurance – Helps to minimize risk and provide cover for expenditures that are beyond the control of individuals or businesses. It can include a range of services, from life, health, auto and home insurance to pension funds, savings plans, and even reinsurance.
Other types of services in this area can include trust funds and stockbrokers, who buy and sell commodities like coffee or oil. They may also provide services to businesses, such as setting up a corporation, selling shares, and dealing with debt and equity financing.
Asset management – Manage assets such as real estate or other property to meet the specific financial goals of clients. This can be a complex process, and often requires a high level of technical knowledge.
Family office – This is an investment and wealth management firm that serves a wealthy family or a small group of wealthy individuals. These firms often employ financial advisers who offer a range of services, from advice on investments to financial planning and retirement.
Advisory services – These companies (or departments within larger entities) serve clients with financial advisers who are also brokers or consultants. They handle all the financial aspects of a client’s life, advising them on what they need to do to protect their wealth and achieve their goals.
Other categories of financial services can also be found in other sectors, such as the real estate sector. This is an increasingly popular field, particularly in the United States.
Financial services is a highly competitive industry, and there are a lot of opportunities for those with an interest in finance, and a good education. Those who can show that they have the drive to succeed and are willing to work hard will be well rewarded. Those who want to be part of a fast-paced environment where they’re likely to enjoy working closely with a team and receive intensive training and mentoring will thrive in the finance world.