The Financial Services Industry

Financial services is a huge industry that encompasses a wide range of professionals and products. It’s important to understand how each part fits into the larger ecosystem and your own financial health.

These include depository institutions, investment houses, credit-card companies, lenders, finance and brokerage firms, mortgage brokers and insurance companies. It is a key driver of the economy and facilitates the free flow of funds, markets liquidity, manages risk and drives growth. It provides an avenue for people to invest their money in the economy and save for the future. It enables businesses to obtain the funds they need for expansion, and it helps families buy land or build or improve their homes. It also enables budding entrepreneurs to start their own businesses, pay for children’s education and even seek out medical help when needed.

Many people could handle most of the services on their own, but it is often more cost effective to pay someone else to do it for you. It’s also crucial to carefully consider all options and risks before making a financial commitment.

A large portion of the sector is comprised of consumer financial services such as credit card and mortgage loan services accompanied by rewards programs. Other services include credit and debit card networks, debt resolution services, global payment providers such as Visa and Mastercard, remittances and foreign exchange. The industry is heavily regulated to ensure that customers’ money and rights are protected. This is done by setting regulations that govern how the services are provided and ensuring that those who provide them have proper licensing and training.