Financial services include all economic activities related to the management of money and credit, such as deposit-taking, loans, investment advisory, insurance, etc. These services support businesses, consumers and governments by providing the means to manage risk and access capital. They also include critical financial utilities such as stock exchanges, clearing houses, derivative and commodity exchanges and payment systems.
Most people think of banks, brokers and mortgage lenders when they hear about financial services. In reality, the industry is much larger than these three sectors. It includes thousands of depository institutions, providers of investment products and insurance companies. It even encompasses organizations that handle large amounts of debt and equity, such as venture capital firms and private equity funds.
This sector of the economy provides many jobs and is a vital part of the overall health of our economy. The growth of this industry is a direct result of the demand for these services from individuals, corporations and governments alike.
The presence of financial services allows consumers to save money and invest in different kinds of projects that ensure a better future. Consumers can also buy various consumer goods by availing hire purchase finance or other similar facilities. This in turn generates more economic activity and creates a chain reaction of investments, production and savings.
In addition, this sector offers a number of benefits to those who work in it. These professionals often earn more than those working in other fields, and can have a very flexible schedule. It is also very common to find positions that can be relocated, making it easier for a family to have a healthy work-life balance.