The Financial Services Industry
The financial services industry provides the money that keeps economies running and people able to meet their day-to-day needs. It includes everything from banks and credit unions to investment firms and insurance companies. The industry is comprised of two broad categories: consumer/personal financial services and corporate/commercial financial services. The latter category encompasses finance departments of major businesses, such as airlines and retailers, as well as independent financial advisory firms.
The industry is changing rapidly as new forces for change present opportunities to innovate and accelerate the human-centric ecosystems reshaping the economy and responding to many urgent societal challenges. As a result, traditional financial institutions and their customers must rethink the way they work together. This is especially true as they face increased competition from disruptors like fintechs, digital giants expanding into financial services and new entrants who bring different strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and risks to the industry.
In the past, each sector of the financial services industry had its own specialty. For example, banks offered checking and savings accounts while loan associations provided mortgages and auto loans. However, over time, these industries began to overlap with one another. For instance, banks now offer a wide range of products, including money market and mutual funds, as consumers demand more from their banks. Similarly, brokers now sell a number of personal and business financial services, such as home loans and car loans, while they once focused on stocks and mutual funds.
A healthy financial services sector helps millions of people get the money they need for education, vehicles, homes, and other expenses. It allows people to save for retirement and other goals, invest in companies with the potential to grow, and safeguards their health, wealth, and property through insurance policies. In addition, it supports a robust economy by providing jobs for millions of hard-working individuals.
The benefits of working in financial services include the chance to be involved in a fast-paced and highly competitive industry, the ability to earn a good salary, and a flexible schedule. However, as with any career path, the road to a successful future in financial services isn’t always smooth. According to Duitch, not every job in the industry pave the way for a career in this field and it’s important to find the right role that fits your aspirations.
Having control over your finances gives you freedom, improves your quality of life, and enhances your sense of wellbeing. The financial services industry is working to ensure that everyone has access to the tools they need to achieve this. This requires an approach that’s equal parts empathy and innovation. This approach must also be reflected in the roles of regulators and other industry bodies, who must find ways to collaborate with emerging players and rethink old assumptions. By doing this, the financial services industry can provide a broader set of solutions that help people thrive in our increasingly interconnected world.