Careers in Financial Services

Financial services are the economic services provided by the finance industry, which encompasses a broad range of businesses that manage money, including credit unions, banks, credit-card companies, insurance firms, investment funds and consumer-finance companies. These firms help individuals and businesses manage their money by lending them funds, advising them on investments and transferring their assets between accounts.

Some of the most common types of financial services include loans, mortgages, savings accounts and checking accounts. But these companies do much more than that. They help create jobs, provide business capital to entrepreneurs, and even offer advice on how to save for retirement or a home.

A healthy financial sector is vital to a country’s economy. It advances loans to businesses so they can grow, issues mortgages to homeowners, safeguards people’s health and property by offering insurance policies and employs millions of people.

Although financial services companies can be found in many different geographic locations, they tend to cluster in local, regional and international financial centers. These include cities such as London, New York City and Tokyo.

In general, the financial services industry is regulated by federal, state and local laws. However, the specifics of each regulation vary greatly. Some of these regulations cover issues such as capitalization requirements, investor disclosure and securities trading practices. Others focus on consumer protection, antitrust laws and bankruptcy procedures.

Some of the largest companies in financial services are investment banks, credit-card companies and mortgage lenders. But the industry is made up of a wide variety of smaller businesses, too. These include credit-card issuers that offer rewards programs, private equity firms that make investments in small businesses and credit unions that lend to individuals.

Those looking for a career in the financial services industry should know that the field is constantly changing. For example, technological innovations in the banking sector have led to online and mobile banking, while deregulation has allowed some institutions to offer multiple products and services – such as investment, commercial and retail banking. This trend is expected to continue as competition in the industry increases and consumers demand more options.

If you are interested in a career in the finance industry, start by finding out what kind of job you would like to have and which qualifications you need to get it. Then, research the subsector and segment of the industry to determine if it is a good fit for you.

Finally, remember that it takes time to advance in the financial services industry. Entry-level positions may not pay well, but it is important to look at them in a positive light as stepping stones to your desired position. It’s also a good idea to find a mentor in the industry to help you along the way. Having one will not only boost your career but it will also ensure that you stay on track with your goals. After all, it’s not always about what you know but rather who you know.