Careers in the Financial Services Industry

Financial services are the backbone of a country’s economy, enabling individuals to borrow, spend, save and invest money securely. The industry also helps businesses acquire funding for operations and expansion into new markets. Globally, it accounts for about a quarter of the world’s GDP and drives stock market capitalisation and earnings.

A well-developed financial system is critical to economic growth because it lubricates the channels that transfer cash from those with money to those who want to invest it. Financial service firms intermediate this process by aggregating savings, monitoring investments and pooling risk to keep it manageable for individual investors. Banks, for example, are in the business of lending money to borrowers and getting paid interest for doing so. Insurance companies collect premiums from policy holders and use them to pay out claims when a loss is realized.

There are many different jobs within the financial services sector. The broadest categories are banking, consumer finance, investment and insurance. More specialized roles include wealth management and private equity, which provide customized investment solutions for high-net-worth individuals. Other financial services include debt resolution, global payment networks such as credit cards and UPI, and financial market utilities including stock, derivative and commodity exchanges.

Careers in the financial services industry tend to be fast-paced and stressful, especially those that involve sales or risk assessment. To succeed, workers must be able to meet tight deadlines and quotas, as well as comply with strict regulations. These factors make the industry a less attractive option for those who prefer a more laid-back lifestyle.