When most people think of financial services, they probably think of banks, mortgage lenders and brokers. But in fact, those are just three of the many different types of financial services that make up this large and complex industry. Financial services companies provide consumers, small businesses, large corporations and nonprofits with a wide range of business services and products. These include deposit-taking, loan and investment services, credit and debt management, securities trading, insurance, and even advising and consultancy.
Financial intermediation is the process of channeling money from savers to borrowers. For example, banks accept deposits from the public and then lend that money to borrowers, earning a profit on the interest income earned from the loans. This helps the economy by allowing those with money to invest it and then purchase goods and services that they couldn’t otherwise afford.
Intermediation also redistributes risk, adding value for investors and protecting individuals and companies from financial losses and liabilities. Banks, for example, offer insurance against the possibility that borrowers won’t pay back their loans, which protects the depositors from losing all of their money. Financial services also provide a range of payment and settlement services, including processing electronic fund transfers and issuing credit and debit cards.
The financial services industry has evolved to meet the needs of the economy and dynamic market conditions over time, adjusting and expanding its offerings in response to changing economic circumstances. Keeping up with this ever-changing landscape is a key challenge for the industry’s players, including commercial and investment banks, asset managers, broker-dealers, fintech enterprises, payment service providers, exchanges and alternative trading systems, and insurance companies and reinsurance firms.
To succeed in the financial services industry, it’s essential to be well-connected. Using your network to land an entry-level role in the sector can help you gain experience and get your foot in the door, especially if you’re interested in becoming a financial advisor or investment portfolio manager. Once you’ve established yourself, you can work your way up within the company and build your skills over time.
As the world becomes increasingly digitized, it’s crucial for companies in the financial services industry to offer customers the digital tools they need to engage with them. This includes offering instant responses and resolutions on the channels they prefer to use, as well as providing a personalized and relevant experience. This can be accomplished by understanding each customer’s unique situation, preferences and goals. By doing so, you can better serve them and improve your bottom line.