Financial services is a sector that includes depository institutions (banks), providers of investment products, insurance companies and other credit and financing organizations. It also includes critical financial market utilities such as stock exchanges, clearing houses and payment systems.
Banks offer checking and savings accounts, as well as loans. Loan associations offer mortgages and personal loans, while brokerage firms provide consumers with opportunities to invest in stocks, bonds or mutual funds.
Other sectors of the financial services industry include asset management, which handles pensions, insurance assets, hedge funds and more. Even though these are all separate financial industries, they still need to interact with each other from time to time.
The industry is lifecycle-based, and banks need to understand what products will be of use at the different stages of their customers’ lives. This allows them to better tailor their offerings based on specific needs.
Consumer finance helps people buy things like cars, homes and clothing. It also helps them save money for future purchases and retirement.
These industries have been able to grow into large businesses thanks to the economic growth of countries around the world, and they are important for a country’s economy. If the financial services sector is strong, it can help consumers to earn more money, which in turn increases their purchasing power and confidence.
A major component of this is financial wellness, which is about helping people manage their finances better and achieve their goals. It’s also about encouraging people to be financially literate, so they know what financial products are available and how to choose them appropriately.
Having control over one’s money can have many benefits, including increased resilience when life happens, improved physical and mental health, and more money saved for the future. That’s why it’s important for the financial services industry to help more people experience this level of financial wellness and make more informed financial decisions.
For example, Spar Nord in Norway is using Salesforce Financial Services Cloud to give their agents a real-time understanding of customer engagements and financial decisions, as well as proactively alert them to upcoming life events. This is helping the company to deliver personalized and relevant interactions, while digitalising a lot of their slow manual processes.
The financial services industry is a fast-paced, challenging place to work. It takes a team player to succeed here, but it is also a competitive field that rewards people with promotions based on merit.
A good mix of education and on-the-job training is essential for a successful career in the financial services sector. It is also a growing field, which means that you will always need to keep up with the latest trends in the industry.
A degree is not always necessary for a career in the financial services sector, but it will certainly help you move up the ladder. Many employers are willing to put time and effort into your development, so it is worth considering an undergraduate or graduate program in the field you’re interested in.