Financial services encompasses a wide range of companies, including brokers and mortgage lenders. It also includes insurance companies, securities traders, investors, and Wall Street.
Banks are the core of a financial services industry and act as middlemen between depositors (people who provide the bank with funds) and borrowers (people who get loans from the bank). These companies serve as the primary source of money in a country, and they help businesses and individuals manage their finances.
Brokerage firms handle trading of securities such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. They may also offer financial advice, and sometimes act as consultants.
Asset management firms handle pensions, insurance assets, hedge funds, and mutual funds. They may also be involved in the sale of reinsurance, which is insurance that insurers sell to help protect them from catastrophic losses.
Other financial services include currency exchange, wire transfer, and debt resolution. Credit card machine services and networks are also part of this sector, as are global payment providers like Visa and Mastercard.
Jobs in the financial services field require a high level of skills and education, and they are often competitive. You’re likely to advance in your career based on aptitude rather than experience, so you can be rewarded quickly if you work hard and smart.
The sector is regulated by independent agencies, which oversee various aspects of the industry and uphold transparency and fair treatment. These agencies also play a role in consumer protection and market integrity.