Financial services are the activities and products offered by a broad range of institutions, advisors, and firms that help individuals and organizations manage, invest, and protect their finances. The sector includes banking, insurance, investment, and retirement services. It also includes credit-card companies, payment networks, and global exchanges that facilitate stock, derivative, and commodity trades.
Careers in this field often pay well and offer a good balance between work and personal life. In fact, when surveyed, most professionals in this industry report being very happy with their jobs. However, breaking into the industry can be difficult. In some cases, it is necessary to have connections that can vouch for your character and abilities in order to secure an entry-level position. Once you’ve got your foot in the door, you can progress quickly if you work hard and make the most of opportunities as they arise.
The financial services industry comprises the central bank; depository organizations such as commercial banks and building societies; credit unions and credit cooperatives; mortgage banks and companies; and other entities engaged in financial intermediation, including insurance companies and pension funds and general finance firms that supply all types of consumer goods on hire purchase and provide loans. It also comprises a variety of other businesses, such as securitizers, debt management firms, and investment and lending companies. The industry is dominated by conglomerates, which combine companies from different sectors of the market under one brand name and umbrella logo.