The Financial Services Industry

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Financial services are the tools and institutions that enable individuals to manage their money, borrow and invest, and achieve their financial goals. They include everything from bank accounts, credit cards, and loans to investment banking, insurance, and personal finance.

The industry is a crucial driver of economic activity and an important source of employment. In the United States alone, it employs more than 2 million people. It’s also one of the fastest growing industries, and technology is transforming it in fundamental ways. For example, it’s now easier than ever to buy a home with a mortgage or invest in a business. At the same time, consumers are increasingly demanding greater transparency and lower fees. In this environment, companies that focus on customer retention and acquisition have a competitive advantage.

As with any career, getting a job in the industry requires networking. A strong network can help you land an internship that leads to a full-time position, especially in an area like investment banking or asset management. Once you’re in the field, it’s normal to have a steep learning curve, so a mentor can be helpful. Often, these positions involve long hours, so work-life balance may be difficult to maintain.

A financial good is something that lasts for a long or short period of time, such as a mortgage or an insurance policy. The corresponding financial service is the process of acquiring that good. This includes all the activities that go into obtaining the financial good, like loan application and approval, inspection and appraisal, and other auxiliary services.