What Is a Job in Financial Services?
The financial services industry comprises the businesses and entities that manage money, including banking, wealth management, investing and insurance. It includes central banks; depository institutions, such as commercial and savings banks, building societies or mortgage companies; credit unions; and others engaged in financial intermediation, such as asset managers, investment firms, securities brokers and dealers, and leasing and hire purchase operations.
The sector is a crucial one, as it enables individuals and companies to invest in business projects with the help of loans, as well as to manage risks by taking out insurance against financial loss caused by natural disasters or other unforeseen circumstances. When it functions well, a country’s economy grows and purchasing power increases. However, when it falters, it can have a negative impact on the overall economy, leading to inflation and unemployment.
A job in financial services can offer you a decent salary, especially once you’ve worked for a few years, and there is scope to progress up the career ladder with more responsibility. But it’s a competitive field and not everyone can make it. The best candidates are intelligent, quick-thinking and team players — they will have no problem working in high-pressure environments.
The sector is also regulated by independent bodies that oversee different financial institutions to ensure transparency and fair treatment of customers. These include the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. There are also non-governmental organisations that provide counseling services and debt management advice.