LeoGlossary: Financial Services

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Financial services are economic services provided by companies involved in the finance industry. Basically, they are companies that manage money in some form.

Examples of the companies are:

  • insurance
  • credit card
  • credit union
  • investment funds
  • stock brokerage firms
  • consumer finance
  • accounting
  • government-sponsored enterprises (GSE)

The banks are large suppliers of financial services globally.

It can be broken down into two categories:


This is a term used to differentiate from Investment Banks. Commercial lend money to individuals and businesses as opposed to the raising of money through other avenues such as bonds or equity.

  • keep money and assets safe either in vault cash or safe deposit box
  • offer out loans directly to individuals and businesses. The can be in the form of personal, mortgage and commercial lending.
  • provide checking accounts
  • offer credit and debit cards
  • cash withdrawal via automatic teller machines
  • cashier's and certified checks
  • electronic funds transfers between banks
  • Internet banking
  • investment products such as mutual funds
  • wire transfers
  • bill payment
  • overdraft protection
  • notary services


Investment banks tend to deal with larger businesses and governments. They are an important link between businesses and markets. Many of these financial institutions are global in nature, operating many countries.

Services offered:

  • helping companies raise capital by underwriting debt and equity offerings
  • mergers and acquisitions
  • private banking for high net-worth individuals
  • market research
  • syndicate banking network
  • structured finance
  • asset management
  • brokerage services

When it comes to market dominance, two regions stand out.

The United States leads the commercial banking sector by a wide margin. When it comes to investment banking, both New York City and London are at the top of the list. The former is powered by the domestic business in the United States while London is the leader in international businesses.

Other Services

Foreign Exchange:

Many companies operate within the FOREX market providing necessary services to handle the $6 trillion in daily activity.

This includes:

Investment Services:

New York is the leader in this sector followed by London.


  • reinsurance
  • brokerage
  • underwriting

Financial Exports:

When a domestic entity provides a service to a foreign company, whether it is banking, insurance, or securities, it is known as a financial export. This is a financial service provided by many of the larger financial institutions to others around the world.