Financial services refer to the processes by which consumers and businesses acquire goods like stocks, bonds, loans, commodity assets, real estate, or insurance policies. They include credit cards, payment systems, tax preparation and planning, accounting, and investing.
The financial services sector is one of the most important sectors in a country’s economy and is considered a primary driver of economic growth. It is also a major source of employment in many countries.
It includes banks, mortgage banks and companies, credit unions, insurance and pension funds, general financiers and cash management firms. It enables financial institutions to raise finance and disburse it in a manner that maximizes their return on investment.
This industry is highly dependent on information technology, making it vital to maintain accurate and timely data. This enables customers to make informed decisions about their finances and helps financial firms to attract and retain top talent.
Regulatory agencies regulate the financial services sector and ensure that all parties involved in the industry are fair, transparent, and honest. These agencies include the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
There are many different types of jobs in the financial services industry, and you can choose the path that best suits your skill set and interests. Whether you want to become an advisor, investment portfolio manager, or loan officer, there’s something for everyone in this career field.
The industry is growing rapidly, and in the last six years, 1.2 billion people worldwide have gained access to bank and mobile money accounts. This revolution in financial inclusion is a powerful tool to help people build more secure economic lives and to spur broad-based growth. However, the barriers that kept digital financial services out of reach for many remain, and there are still tough challenges to overcome.