Financial services include a broad range of businesses that help people manage money and invest in goods and companies. Financial services also provide protection against risk. This includes insurance, which covers the loss of personal property or income (e.g., life insurance and home insurance), and wealth management services, which provide advice on investments and retirement planning. Financial services also include payment systems, which transfer funds from payers to recipients.
Banks are the foundation of the financial services industry, collecting deposits from savers and lending them to borrowers. They earn revenue by charging fees, commissions and spreads (the difference between the rate they charge to borrowers and the rate paid to depositors).
Credit cards and hire purchase finance are some of the other financial services that enable consumers to buy products and services on credit. They encourage consumption, production and savings by providing individuals with more buying power.
The financial services industry is the primary driver of a country’s economy, allowing for the free flow of capital and market liquidity. When this sector is healthy, the economy grows, and businesses are better able to manage risk.
The career paths for those in the financial services industry are vast. While a degree may be required for some positions, there are plenty of opportunities to start at entry level and work your way up. Duitch says that networking is especially important in the field, and it’s often possible to get a job by connecting with someone who can vouch for your character.