Financial services are the economic services provided by the finance industry, which encompasses a broad range of businesses that manage money, including credit unions, banks, credit-card companies, consumer-finance companies, stock brokerages and investment funds. These firms, which are regulated by government authorities, provide individuals and businesses with various ways to save and invest their money, as well as offer a wide variety of loans, credit facilities and insurance policies.
The financial services sector is incredibly vast and varied, which makes it a great place to find a career that suits your skills and interests. Traditionally, different sectors of the financial services industry specialised in their own area: banks offered checking and savings accounts; mortgage lenders provided home and auto loans; brokers sold investments like stocks and mutual funds; and credit card companies like Visa and MasterCard issued credit cards. However, in the 1970s consumers began to move away from big banks and demand increased for other types of financial services. As a result, financial services providers started to expand their product lines to offer more of what people wanted.
Other important financial services include debt resolution, global payment systems and networks (like the ones run by Visa and MasterCard), currency exchange and wire transfer services, and credit-card machine servicing. These services help to promote domestic and foreign trade by increasing the sale of goods in local markets and facilitating exports. They also allow for greater production in all sectors of the economy, which leads to overall economic growth.