What Is the Financial Services Industry?

Financial services is a broad category that encompasses businesses offering banking, investment, insurance and other financial goods and services. It also includes organizations that help businesses manage their money and provide financial market utilities such as stock exchanges, clearing houses, derivative and commodity exchanges and payment systems.

Banks – The most well-known type of financial services firm, these firms offer checking accounts and credit cards and perform a variety of other functions. They also offer loans and mortgages to individuals, small businesses, and government entities.

Investment banks – Another type of financial service firm, investment banks focus on raising capital from investors through mergers and acquisitions, underwriting debt and equity, restructuring, and investment management. They also offer securities research and broker services.

Insurance – Insurance is an important part of the financial services industry, and it includes both commercial lines and personal lines. An insurance agent shops for and negotiates rates, while an underwriter assesses risk and creates policies that protect customers against unexpected events.

Conglomerates – These companies combine multiple types of financial services, such as life insurance, general insurance, asset management and wholesale banking into a single business. This allows the firm to reduce its economic capital, and it usually offers diversification benefits for shareholders.

Job security – Most positions in the financial services sector are secure. This means that you can move to another city, job, or company without worrying about losing your position.

Career advancement – A career in the financial services sector is a great way to build on your existing skills. You’ll learn a lot of new things and often have a great deal of responsibility from the start.

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