Financial Services – Everything That Touches Money

When you think of Financial services, you probably envision a world of bankers and hedge fund managers. But the industry is so broad that it encompasses everything that touches money, from community banks to credit-card issuers to debt resolution firms. The term also includes not just for-profit companies but many nonprofits that offer counseling or money management advice.

This is a very competitive and demanding field, where salaries are not enormous but there are opportunities for advancement, especially in the technology sector. It’s not uncommon for those in high-level roles to work 16 to 20 hours a day, so burnout is a serious risk. And many jobs are heavily regulated, which can hamper innovation and make it difficult for smaller players to compete with larger ones.

As the name suggests, this industry focuses on finance, which means managing and promoting the activities that support our economic system: banking, borrowing, saving and investing. The sector also includes the global payment providers that process electronic funds transfers and manage credit card networks, and the professional services companies that provide accounting, tax filing, systems design and debt resolution.

The industry’s components vary by country but generally include central banks; depository institutions, such as banks, building societies and mortgage banks and companies; credit unions; credit-card companies; insurance companies; and other credit-financing organizations. Many of these entities operate as subsidiaries of financial holding companies. Financial services also includes asset management, where pension funds, investment assets and insurance policies are held.