Financial services are the economic services provided by the finance industry, which encompasses a wide range of service sector firms that manage money and assets. This includes banking, credit unions, credit-card companies, loan brokerage firms and other financial institutions. It also involves insurance, investment management, the redistribution of risk and other financial activities.
Regulatory bodies are interlinked with the financial industry, and their mission is to oversee different aspects of financial institutions’ operations, uphold transparency and ensure that clients are treated fairly. This is why it is important for those working in the sector to understand these bodies and how they work.
The lines between different sectors within the financial services industry are becoming increasingly blurred. This is partially due to rapid technological advancements, which are opening up new markets and creating new services that weren’t previously available. For example, some banks now offer online banking services, as well as offering a variety of investment products like mutual funds and stocks. Some even provide angel investing, where wealthy individuals will invest in smaller companies and startups in exchange for a stake in the business.
Moreover, many financial services companies are merging and buying out other businesses in the sector. This is a way of increasing their market share and offering more services to their customers. For instance, an investment bank may buy out an insurance company and combine the two businesses into a single holding company. However, in some countries this is illegal.