Financial services are crucial to the functioning of an economy. They provide individuals with the ability to borrow money to buy goods and services that they otherwise would not be able to afford, allow businesses to invest in growth, and shield people and property from risk through insurance policies. A healthy financial sector employs millions of people and serves countless customers.
There are many different types of financial services providers. Some, like banks, collect deposits and lend money, while others, such as investment funds, pool investors’ money and invest it on their behalf. Still others, such as credit card companies, facilitate the exchange of funds by allowing customers to make and receive payments. Other providers, such as debt resolution firms, help individuals who are struggling with debt and insurance companies offer coverage for a wide range of risks.
Despite their many different functions, all financial services providers intermediate cash between savers and borrowers. They do this by accepting deposit and repayment funds from those with money to spare, and then lending them to those who need it. They also add value by aggregating savings, monitoring investments, and pooling risk to mitigate the impact of individual defaults. As a result, many financial services providers are heavily regulated by government agencies to ensure their integrity and customer protection. This can lead to a challenging environment for new entrants to the industry. Nevertheless, a career in financial services can be lucrative and exciting, particularly for those with interpersonal skills.