A sector of the business world that covers investments, banking and insurance, financial services are a key part of our lives. These businesses channel cash from savers to borrowers and redistribute risk. They help people manage their money (investment banking, credit unions, and savings accounts), they provide protection against accidents or loss of life or property (insurance policies), they help consumers with big purchase decisions (debt resolution services, private equity firms) and also include global payment providers such as Visa and Mastercard and stock and commodity exchanges.
Because of a number of events, including deregulation and the globalization of markets, many of the traditional boundaries between these different types of companies have blurred. For example, banks that previously offered only commercial and investment banking now offer mortgages and other loans. This is a result of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in the 1990s that repealed the Glass-Steagall Act and allowed these banks to become multi-service financial conglomerates.
Choosing a Career in Financial Services
Working within financial services can give you the chance to develop a variety of transferable skills, making it a good choice for those who want to change careers or move around professionally. However, not all roles in this sector are created equal, and some may not help you achieve your career goals. For example, if you want to be an investment banker, starting out as a teller at your local bank isn’t going to get you very far!