Financial services are economic services tied to finance that are provided by the financial sector. These include banking, credit unions, credit-card companies, insurance agencies and brokerage firms. Financial services are important because they allow individuals and businesses to raise money. They also help to control the flow of money in a country. When this industry thrives, it can boost a nation’s economy. However, when the industry falters, it can lead to a recession.
Financial markets, and the financial service firms that operate them, channel money from savers to investors with investment ideas. They help to raise capital for all sorts of purposes, from building a factory to expanding an existing one. The more well-developed the financial system is, the better lubricated this channel becomes, which reduces transaction costs and other obstacles to investment and economic growth.
The financial services industry is comprised of thousands of depository institutions, providers of investment products, insurers, lending and financial leasing organizations, payment and money market utilities, and a variety of other credit and financing institutions. Financial services are vital to the economy because they facilitate the exchange of goods and services for money, which is then used to purchase other goods and services.
A career in financial services can be exciting and rewarding. Many employers offer intensive training and on-the-job mentoring, and promote from within based on merit. You’ll find that the pay is competitive, especially in more specialized areas of the field.