Financial services are economic services that support individuals, businesses and governments in their financial activities. This includes work related to money, including banking, lending and investing. Financial services also encompass a range of activities that help people manage their financial risks. These include investment advisory and management, wealth management, insurance, and credit-card services.
Financial institutions provide depository services by accepting deposits from savers, and then lending those funds to borrowers for various purposes. This can include commercial loans, mortgages, and business loans. These institutions also assess the creditworthiness of borrowers and set interest rates accordingly.
Other financial services companies offer capital markets services, which help investors buy and sell securities. These include brokerage firms, which act as middlemen between buyers and sellers of shares, bonds and other securities. They charge a fee for their services, called brokerage commissions. Investment banking is another major part of this sector, where investment bankers advise companies and individuals on making investments.
This industry provides the backbone for a country’s economy, allowing individuals to purchase products and services that enhance their lives. It allows businesses to grow and expand through the provision of loans, and it protects against losses from unforeseen events by offering insurance coverage.
Because this sector is so essential to the global economy, it has been subject to intense scrutiny in recent times. Some of the main drivers of this have been deregulation, globalization and scandals. In particular, the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States led to a collapse in this sector and has prompted calls for increased regulation of the industry.
Despite the criticism, this industry is still highly important to the world economy. It employs millions of people and supports many other industries by providing the funds they need to operate. In addition, it helps consumers meet their financial goals by allowing them to borrow money for cars, homes, education and other needs, and it safeguards their assets and health with insurance policies.
It also offers a wide variety of career opportunities for ambitious, motivated individuals. Many companies in this sector offer ongoing training and advancement on the basis of merit, rather than tenure, which can be a draw for young professionals. However, a career in financial services can be stressful as employees are often required to work long hours. This can lead to burnout and a lack of life balance. As a result, some employees may leave the industry for other careers. This can be a challenge for the financial services industry, which must continually attract and retain talented workers. It is also struggling to adapt to changing consumer needs as more customers demand digital services that make it easier for them to invest, save and borrow. A strong digital strategy is therefore vital to the future of this industry. Salesforce has developed a solution that can support this strategic shift. Our Financial Services Cloud is a modern client engagement platform built specifically for financial advisors and their clients. It includes all of the core Salesforce Sales Cloud features, plus an enhanced set of features created with the specific needs of this industry in mind.