What Is Financial Services?
When you think of financial services, your mind might go to banks, brokers or mortgage lenders. But the industry actually entails a lot more than that. It includes securities traders, investors and financial advisors. It also encompasses insurance companies and credit-card providers. It also involves the exchanges that facilitate stock, derivatives and commodity trades.
Regulatory bodies are interconnected with various industries, and the financial sector is no exception. Independent agencies are designated to oversee different financial institutions’ operations, uphold transparency and ensure that clients are treated fairly. Two key regulatory agencies within the financial services sector include the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Banks offer a variety of financial services, including checking and savings accounts. They also give borrowers the opportunity to make mortgages and auto loans. They can also provide money management services and cashier’s checks. Other responsibilities might involve the sale of investment products like mutual funds.
The financial sector also consists of debt capital markets that help businesses raise equity and debt funding. They can also work to assist with mergers and acquisitions for private and public entities. Another area is structured finance, which develops more intricate (and often derivative) financial products for high-net-worth individuals and institutions that require a more tailored approach. Lastly, the financial services sector also encompasses global payment companies such as Visa and Mastercard. These provide the infrastructure to conduct global payments and money transfers.