What Is Financial Services?

The financial services industry encompasses a wide range of professional firms that provide investment banking, securities, insurance and consumer finance. These companies facilitate capital formation, channel money from savers to those with investment ideas and enable businesses to raise money for expansion or purchase equipment. In addition, they perform a variety of critical services, such as clearing and settlement of financial assets and negotiable instruments and the provision of financial information.

A healthy financial services sector puts savings to productive use, allowing consumers to get loans for homes, cars and education and to secure their savings through insurance policies. It also helps people meet their daily living needs by providing them with credit cards, mortgages and a range of other consumer finance products. It employs millions of people around the world and provides them with a solid income and security, enabling them to live life comfortably and help others do the same.

Financial services are an integral part of a modern economy and have a direct impact on the welfare of citizens, society and government. The success of the sector depends on its ability to keep up with changing customer demands, and a strong customer focus is key to delivering innovative solutions that meet those needs.

There are many different career paths within financial services, from corporate finance and investment banking to insurance and accounting. A good starting point is to earn a bachelor’s degree in the subject of your choice, though in some roles, particularly those requiring high levels of skill or experience, a college degree may not be necessary. You can work your way up through the industry by starting in a non-management role, such as a teller or customer service representative and then working your way up the ranks with hard work and dedication.

In the United States, the lines that separate financial services sectors have blurred over the years as customers demand more from their banks and the various institutions merge together to offer a wide range of products and services. Banks now offer more than just checking and deposit accounts; they offer money market and mutual funds, credit cards, and mortgages. Investment banks, which advise businesses on raising capital through mergers and acquisitions, have also begun to offer commercial lending services.

Despite the broad definition of financial services, not everyone is served by these organizations. Various circumstances can keep someone from the net of available services, and it is important for governments, business, civil society and individuals to work together to fill in these gaps.

Salesforce Financial Services Cloud Einstein empowers agents and advisors to create a personalized experience for every customer – no matter the channel or device. In this case study, Spar Nord shows how using Salesforce in conjunction with their customers’ data has enabled them to digitalise slow manual processes and deliver a more seamless experience to their clients. In turn, this leads to better customer retention and increased revenue for the business.