Financial services encompass a wide variety of business areas. They include everything from credit card companies and mortgage lenders to debt resolution firms and global payment networks like Visa and MasterCard. This sector also includes investment banking, hedge funds and wealth management services. While the term financial services may bring to mind images of stockbrokers and hedge fund managers, the industry also comprises everything from small community banks to non-profit organizations that offer debt counseling or money management advice.
Another subsector is consumer finance, which includes credit card and loan services that help people afford things such as furniture or a car by offering them financing over time. It also encompasses services that help consumers avoid bankruptcy by negotiating reduced interest rates or repayment terms with creditors. This sector also includes mortgage lenders and personal and student loan companies, as well as consumer debt resolution services.
Lastly, there are financial market utilities that provide the backbone infrastructure of the industry. These companies support the trading of securities and other financial instruments through various means, including stock, derivative and commodity exchanges, clearing houses and payment systems such as real-time gross settlement (RTGS) and interbank networks. Examples include stock exchanges, depositary and clearing houses, credit rating agencies and debt resolution services.
Choosing a career in financial services is a good choice for many people because of the range of employment opportunities, but there are some things to keep in mind before making the jump. For example, although salaries are fairly high, they’re not as competitive as other industries, so it might be difficult to break into the industry if you don’t already have connections. In addition, a job in this field isn’t always the best option for those seeking an intellectual challenge.