Financial Services

Financial services

The finance industry provides a wide range of economic services. Some of these businesses include banks, credit unions, and discount brokerages. Others offer specialized products or services. Financial services companies make a great deal of money by providing a wide range of services to consumers. These businesses provide everything from savings and loan products to investment management and wealth management.


Banks provide a range of financial services, including asset management, financial advice and portfolio management. These services are aimed at helping clients build wealth and secure their financial situation by using a variety of financial products. Some banks also offer trading services through brokers and exchanges on their clients’ behalf. These services often include financial products, such as bonds and stocks.

These services can be delivered through an online platform or through mobile apps. This reduces costs and increases returns for banks, while also satisfying consumers’ needs better.

Investment firms

Investment firms are institutions that provide financial services to individuals and businesses. Some types of firms provide brokerage services to investors, while others specialize in asset management. Investment banks may also provide consulting services, such as managing mergers and acquisitions, or act as market makers. Some of these institutions also develop and provide software for client reporting and portfolio management. Some firms also provide venture capital to start companies. Venture capital is a form of funding provided by private investors for companies in return for a profit share or ownership stake.

Investment banks generally work with high-net-worth individuals and deal makers, and do not work with the general public. They provide wealth management and tax advice to clients, underwrite deals, and secure access to capital markets. Some of these firms also facilitate the purchase and sale of stocks and bonds. Some investment banks also serve as discount brokerages.

Discount brokerages

Discount brokerages have grown in popularity in recent years. They are a growing number of options for investors who want to buy and sell stocks without paying high commissions. The earliest discount brokers were introduced in the 1980s by Charles Schwab and others. Other early programs included TeleBroker, a keypad trading application for the phone, and StreetSmart, a PC trading software program. In 1992, E-Trade became the first online brokerage service. By 1995, E-Trade derived 80% of its revenue from trading commissions. In 2000, other companies like Fidelity and Robinhood began offering discount broker services.

While full-service brokerages offer more specialized services such as managed accounts, insurance and annuity products, discount brokerages offer a more general range of services. Discount brokers may charge a low commission for all orders and offer online and offline services. Their low transaction costs come from using a flat fee model, which means that their fees are based on the total amount of orders.


Financial conglomerates pose a systemic risk to the financial system. An overwhelming number of depositors can trigger a run on an individual company. This is because of the psychological channel, whereby the group structure leads depositors to perceive trouble at a particular company. The 2008 financial crisis exposed this phenomenon and the systemic risk it posed.

Some economists question the role of financial conglomerates. For example, a recent paper by Arnoud Boot on the financial services industry in Europe echoes Walter’s position. He argues that conglomerates are not the primary driver of financial consolidation. Instead, firms move toward a conglomerate model for various strategic reasons. They may be seeking market power, first-mover advantages, or supranormal profits. These firms may also be seeking diversification, particularly in an environment of rapid technological change.