The Financial Services Industry

Financial services

The financial services industry encompasses a broad range of business activities that support the economy, businesses, and people. These activities include banking (borrowing and saving), investing, extending credit, and insurance.

The industry also includes professional services such as accountancy, auditing, and legal work. In addition, the sector encompasses the various utilities that enable financial transactions, such as currency exchange and wire transfer services, credit card networks and machines, and debt resolution and settlement.

There have been recent great strides in expanding access to financial services, especially for the poorest. For example, as many as 1.2 billion adults have now gained access to a bank account. However, more needs to be done, particularly in the digital space where customers expect a lot more functionality and convenience, and the industry faces new competitors from a range of sources.

The finance industry provides a number of investment products, including stocks and bonds, mutual funds, private equity, and venture capital. These investments are used for a variety of purposes, such as growing wealth or funding startups. In some cases, these investments are made in return for ownership stakes or profit participation in the companies being financed. Other services, such as actuarial, provide risk assessment and analysis. The industry also provides a range of insurance services, providing cover against the risk of death or injury, property loss or damage, and liability risk. This is commonly provided through life and health insurance, home and car insurance, and other forms of general insurance.

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