Financial services is a large and diverse industry that encompasses banks, securities firms, mortgage companies, credit card issuers and other providers of auxiliary financial services. These companies help individuals, small businesses and even large corporations put their money to productive use. Financial services also help manage financial risk, which is one of the most important aspects of an economy. Governments oversee and regulate many parts of the financial services industry to foster trust between consumers and providers, and to protect investors from bad actors.
Traditionally, each sector of the financial services industry more or less stuck to its niche; banks provided a place for people to store their checking and savings accounts; loan associations offered mortgages and other loans; and brokerage companies facilitated investments in stocks and bonds. But as times changed, so did consumer needs and expectations. In order to stay competitive, most companies began offering more and more financial services to their customers. Today, it seems like all banking institutions offer investment, commercial and retail services, while credit card companies do more than just give out cards.
The emergence of new technologies has changed the way many financial services companies operate; clients can check their bank account online at any time, and operations in many stockbrokerage firms are now almost completely automated. Additionally, technological advancements have enabled insurance companies to pull up information on potential subscribers much more quickly.
A career in the financial services industry can be incredibly rewarding, but it is not for everyone. You must be intelligent, quick-thinking and a team player to make it in the business. You’ll often be working with high-profile individuals and companies, which can be a bit intimidating at first but is also an incredible opportunity to network.
When it comes to pay, financial services jobs aren’t as lucrative as some other sectors of the industry; you’ll usually only make around PS45,000 a year. However, the career prospects are great and you can easily move up into the high 5 figures with a few years’ experience.
Considering the importance of the financial services industry, it’s no wonder that governments across the globe take great care to regulate it. They do this to encourage trust between consumers and providers, and to protect both investors and borrowers from bad actors. Some of the most common regulatory agencies include: