The Financial services industry encompasses a broad range of professionals and products. The right career path in the industry can provide you with a fulfilling and rewarding work experience.
The financial services sector is essential to a nation’s economic health. It helps people to make smart and informed decisions with their money, and provides access to credit for large purchases.
Banks, investment houses, lenders, finance companies and real estate agents are all part of the financial services sector.
Banking involves a wide array of activities including handing deposits into checking and savings accounts, lending money to customers, and providing cash management services. It also includes offering insurance products, investment advice, and a variety of other services.
Retail banking, also called consumer or personal banking, serves consumers, while commercial banking deals with small businesses and larger corporations. Both types of banks offer a range of financial products and services, such as checking accounts, savings accounts, mortgages, loans, and credit cards.
Some banking entities also specialize in one area of business, such as commercial credit, which focuses on helping businesses manage their finances. This type of banking typically offers loan products that are more specialized than those offered by traditional banks, such as equipment financing for businesses and loans to purchase inventory or other assets.
Other banking entities specialize in a specific industry, such as commercial insurance or asset-backed securities. These firms are responsible for bringing new products to market that meet the needs of different clients.
Insurance providers help their clients understand and choose the best policies for their individual needs. They also explain the pros and cons of various investment options, such as mutual funds or stocks.
Advisors in the financial services industry assist individuals and organizations with a variety of tasks, such as assessing investments, conducting due diligence, valuing companies or real estate properties, and offering guidance on tax matters. Having control over your finances means you’re more resilient when an unexpected event happens, enjoy better physical and mental health, and save for the future.
Regulatory agencies oversee many aspects of the financial services industry to ensure consumers are protected and that the financial sector maintains integrity. These independent agencies are responsible for upholding a high level of transparency and fair treatment of clients.
The finance sector is a crucial part of the economy, and a failing sector can have severe negative consequences for a country’s growth. When financial institutions are healthy, the economy is strong and thriving, and the population has access to a full range of goods and services.
Another important role of the finance sector is to raise capital for companies and governments. Often, this involves developing intricate (typically derivative) products that can generate large sums of cash for investors.
Investment and finance firms, such as hedge funds and private equity groups, can raise capital through debt or equity offerings to their clients, and they can also underwrite mergers and acquisitions for companies. They can also assist in the IPO process, which involves selling stock to the public.