Financial services are the institutions, services and products that enable people to manage their money and make payments. They include deposit-taking, lending of all types (including mortgages), investment firms and brokerage operations, financial intermediation, credit reference agencies, actuarial services, insurance and pension funds. The sector also comprises business services supporting the operation of these financial intermediaries, such as escrow services, payment and settlement systems, securities clearing, securities underwriting and financial data processing.
These services provide convenience to consumers by making it easy for them to store their money and make transactions. They also give consumers access to credit, enabling them to purchase items that would otherwise be out of their price range. They provide security and peace of mind, giving consumers confidence in the integrity and stability of their finances.
In addition, financial services help to develop a country’s economy by providing funding to businesses and individuals. This funding can be in the form of loans, credit lines and equity investments, as well as debt and derivatives exchanges.
The industry is heavily regulated, with independent agencies designated to oversee different financial institutions’ operations and uphold transparency. These include the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. It also includes accounting and tax filing services, global payment providers like Visa and MasterCard, debt resolution services and stock, commodity and derivatives exchanges. There are a variety of entry-level roles available in the industry, with many companies offering intensive training and mentorship opportunities, so that employees can learn and grow on the job.