Financial services is the broad category of companies that deal with money and credit. They can range from banks and fintechs to traditional lenders, pensions providers and credit unions. Financial services companies are helping people build their financial wellbeing by providing them with the right tools and products for their needs. In an age of digitisation and Covid-19, consumers have greater access to the financial sector than ever before. However, they still face significant challenges in terms of understanding how to use this new technology and managing their finances. This is where the industry can make real commercial gains.
The financial services industry is made up of a number of sub-sectors that are crucial for the economy. These include banking (which covers the basics of savings and lending), investment, insurance, and the redistribution of risk.
While many of these sectors are independent of each other, they often interact. For example, banks earn revenue through the spread of interest rates between loans and deposits. Financial services also offer advice to investors and businesses, and provide a variety of products that can help people manage their finances.
Some of these products and services are not always in the public eye, but they are vital to the financial health of a nation. For instance, it is difficult to think of the global economy without the existence of the financial system.
The industry is regulated by governments to ensure fairness and transparency for all participants. The type of regulation varies from country to country, but it is generally designed to protect customers. It is also intended to encourage innovation and growth.
In addition to regulating the financial industry, government agencies also provide supervision and oversight. This is done to prevent financial crises and other issues that might damage the economy. Governments also provide incentives to attract financial services companies to their country.
One of the biggest benefits of a career in the financial services sector is that it is usually well-paid, especially for entry-level positions. This can be important for young professionals who are just starting out in their careers and need to support themselves. In addition, companies in the financial services sector are known for promoting from within and rewarding merit over longevity. This makes the field an excellent choice for those who want to climb the corporate ladder quickly.
The biggest drawback of a career in the financial services sector can be stress. Many jobs in this field can be very demanding and require long hours. This can lead to burnout, especially for those in high-pressure positions. The long working hours can also be difficult for those who have family or other commitments outside of work. Furthermore, the industry can be volatile, with rapid changes in market conditions affecting profitability. Finally, there is a lot of competition among financial services firms, so it can be hard to distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack. Still, if you have the right skills and knowledge, a career in financial services can be highly rewarding.