Financial services involve a wide range of activities that are essential to society, including banking and investments. They also provide critical support for business and government transactions, and they play a key role in economic development.
The financial sector includes thousands of depository institutions; providers of investment products; insurance companies; other credit and financing organizations; and providers of the critical financial utilities that underpin these activities. The Department of Financial Services supervises many of these organizations, enforcing regulations governing their operation.
A financial good is a product that has value, like a mortgage or an insurance policy. Everything that goes into supporting a purchase of this good (getting the mortgage, insuring the home, inspecting it) is a financial service.
Some services are tasks, such as processing money (Palpay) or paying others (PayPal). But they still require a great deal of attention to detail, and these companies must be able to anticipate important life events in order to serve their customers well.
Banks are a type of financial service that holds a customer’s money, and they offer a range of services that help people make payments and get loans. Some banks also specialize in certain products, such as checking accounts or savings accounts.
The financial sector also encompasses a number of professional services that are vital to its operation, including accounting and auditing firms. These services help businesses and governments manage finances and record data, and are also essential for determining whether an organization is complying with the law.