The Financial Services Industry

Financial services

A healthy financial services sector is critical to a nation’s economy. It helps individuals get loans for mortgages, cars and homes; save for retirement and other goals; safeguard assets against loss through insurance; and enables businesses to grow by providing credit. The industry employs millions of people and contributes to a strong, resilient society.

Yet despite the benefits of a well-functioning financial services sector, many people lack understanding of basic money management skills and are deeply in debt or have poor credit. A thriving industry requires a robust infrastructure of institutions, utilities and services to provide people with the financial tools they need.

These tools can include:

Banks: Provide a safe place to store money and offer checking, savings and other accounts. Loan associations: Offer personal and home loans. Brokerage companies: Allow consumers to invest in stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Credit card companies: Offer cards like Visa and MasterCard.

Other services:

Other members of the finance industry may be more concerned with direct saving and lending such as investment agencies, stock market brokers, and credit unions. Then there are the financial market utilities, such as credit-card machine services and networks; global payment providers like Visa and Mastercard; and exchanges that facilitate stock, derivative and commodity trades. In addition, reinsurance companies also provide financial services. These firms underwrite and advise investment banks on loan risk. The industry also includes debt resolution services and other consumer-facing companies that help people manage their credit issues.

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