Financial services is a broad term that encompasses many different industries, businesses, and jobs. It includes deposit-taking and lending (including mortgages, personal loans and credit cards); investment firms; insurance and pension funds; and payment and money transmission services. In addition, the sector also includes asset management services such as fund management; custodial, depository and trust services; financial market utilities such as stock, derivative and commodity exchanges; and payment systems such as real-time gross settlement systems or interbank networks.
Today, the industry seems to be all-encompassing, with banks offering a wide range of products like checking and savings accounts, and loan associations and mortgage companies offering loans for houses and cars. But it wasn’t always this way. Prior to the 1970s, each sector was pretty much stuck to its niche. Banks only offered checking and savings accounts, while brokerage and mutual funds companies were focused on investments; and credit card companies solely provided credit cards.
However, technology has changed the landscape of the industry by blurring the lines between each sector. Nowadays, a consumer can take a check from a bank and use it at a credit union to earn interest. It’s also easier than ever for individuals to invest in small businesses or startups through the internet. Plus, it’s more common than ever for professionals in the field to be able to travel internationally as their careers progress. And the good news is that people in this industry tend to be extremely happy with their jobs – as a whole, they rank above most other industries for job satisfaction.