The financial services industry consists of all industries and institutions involved in the management of money or assets. This includes the central bank, depository organizations such as commercial banks or building societies; credit unions; mortgage companies; insurance and pension funds; investment firms; and companies engaged in financial intermediation.
Technology has transformed the way people manage their finances. Customers can now check their bank accounts online at any time, companies pay employees through direct deposit and investors can view stock market quotes instantly on computers. Financial service providers are using data analytics to better understand customer needs and offer the right products at the right time. For example, they can track the number of times a customer checks their account to predict when a customer is likely to need to borrow or invest.
Financial services are vital to a nation’s economy because they provide the lubricant that allows for efficient capital markets. Capital markets channel savings from savers to those with investment ideas, which then helps fuel economic growth. A well-developed financial services industry also reduces the risks associated with investing and borrowing, which can otherwise inhibit economic activity.
Getting into a career in financial services is competitive, but it can be possible to break into the industry through connections. For example, a strong network can help land you an internship that will give you valuable on-the-job experience. You can also start by applying for entry-level positions and work your way up within the company.