Financial services refer to a broad range of business activities that provide investment capital, loans and other credit facilities to consumers, small businesses, large corporations and even the government. The industry includes stock and bond brokers, mortgage lenders, banking establishments, insurance providers, venture capital companies, asset management firms and more. It also encompasses an extensive array of supporting businesses like accountants and tax filing services; debt resolution agencies; currency exchange and wire transfer operations; credit card machine and network services; and global payment systems.
Other subsectors include private equity funds, angel investors and venture capital providers who supply investment capital to new and growing businesses in return for ownership stakes or profit participation. Insurance services cover a wide spectrum of personal and commercial policies including life, health and property insurance as well as reinsurance to insurers themselves to protect them from catastrophic losses. Other related activity is structured finance which involves creating intricate products to meet specific investment goals of high net worth individuals or entities.
Banking is still a core function of financial services which includes deposit taking, providing checking accounts and other lending facilities. It also offers investment products like mutual funds, cash management and foreign exchange services. Some banks also offer prime brokerage, an exclusive type of bundled broker service to meet the needs of high net worth individuals.