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Financial services are the "economic services provided by the finance industry, which encompasses a broad range of "businesses that manage money, including "credit unions, "banks, "credit-card companies, "insurance companies, "accountancy companies, "consumer-finance companies, "stock brokerages, "investment funds, individual managers and some "government-sponsored enterprises.[1] Financial services companies are present in all economically developed geographic locations and tend to cluster in local, national, regional and international "financial centers such as "London, "New York City, and "Tokyo.



The term "financial services" became more prevalent in the "United States partly as a result of the "Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of the late 1990s, which enabled different types of companies operating in the U.S. financial services industry at that time to merge.[2]

Companies usually have two distinct approaches to this new type of business. One approach would be a bank which simply buys an insurance company or an "investment bank, keeps the original "brands of the acquired firm, and adds the "acquisition to its "holding company simply to diversify its "earnings. Outside the U.S. (e.g. "Japan), non-financial services companies are permitted within the "holding company. In this scenario, each company still looks independent, and has its own customers, etc. In the other style, a bank would simply create its own brokerage division or insurance division and attempt to sell those products to its own existing customers, with incentives for combining all things with one company.


Commercial banking services[edit]

A commercial bank is what is commonly referred to as simply a bank. The term ""commercial" is used to distinguish it from an "investment bank, a type of financial services entity which instead of lending money directly to a business, helps businesses raise money from other firms in the form of "bonds (debt) or "stock (equity).

The primary operations of commercial banks include:

The United States is the largest location for commercial banking services.

Investment banking services[edit]

New York City and London are the largest centers of investment banking services. NYC is dominated by U.S. domestic business, while in London "international business and commerce make up a significant portion of investment banking activity.[5]

Foreign exchange services[edit]

Foreign exchange services are provided by many banks and specialist "foreign exchange brokers around the world. Foreign exchange services include:

London handled 36.7% of "global currency transactions in 2009 – an average daily turnover of "US$1.85 trillion – with more US dollars traded in London than New York, and more "Euros traded than in every other city in Europe combined.[6][7][8][9][10]

Investment services[edit]

New York City is the largest center of investment services, followed by London.[12]


The United States, followed by Japan and the United Kingdom are the largest insurance markets in the world.[14]

Other financial services[edit]

Financial exports[edit]

A financial export is a financial service provided by a domestic firm (regardless of ownership) to a foreign firm or individual. While financial services such as banking, insurance and investment management are often seen as a domestic service, an increasing proportion of financial services are now being handled abroad, in other "financial centres, for a variety of reasons. Some smaller financial centres, such as "Bermuda, "Luxembourg, and the "Cayman Islands, lack sufficient size for a domestic financial services sector and have developed a role providing services to non-residents as "offshore financial centres. The increasing competitiveness of financial services has meant that some countries, such as Japan, which were self-sufficient have increasingly imported financial services.

The leading financial exporter, in terms of exports less imports, is the "United Kingdom, which had $95 billion of financial exports in 2014.[16] The UK's position is helped by both unique institutions (such as "Lloyd's of London for insurance, the "Baltic Exchange for shipping etc.)[17] and an environment that attracts foreign firms;[18] many international corporations have global or regional headquarters in the "London and are listed on the "London Stock Exchange, and many banks and other financial institutions operate there or in "Edinburgh.[19][20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Financial Services: Getting the Goods". IMF. 28 March 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "Bill Summary & Status 106th Congress (1999 - 2000) S.900 CRS Summary - Thomas (Library of Congress)". Retrieved 2011-02-08. 
  3. ^ "Private Banking definition". Investor Words.com. Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  4. ^ "How Swiss Bank Accounts Work". How Stuff Works. Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  5. ^ Roberts, Richard (2008). The City: A Guide to London's Global Financial Centre. Economist. p. 2. 
  6. ^ "Research and statistics FAQ". The City of London. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "Triennial Central Bank Survey - Foreign exchange and derivatives market activity in 2004" (PDF). Bank for International Settlements. March 2005. Retrieved 2018-03-05. 
  8. ^ "Key facts Archived 4 June 2012 at "Archive.is", Corporation of London. Retrieved 19 June 2006.
  9. ^ European Central Bank (July 2017) "The international role of the euro". European Central Bank. p. 28.
  10. ^ Chatsworth Communications (April 6, 2016) "London's leading position as a USD 2.2 trillion hub for FX trading would be harmed by a Brexit, according to poll of currency market professionals". Chatsworth Communications.
  11. ^ "Prudential: Securities Processing Primer" (PDF). cm1.prusec.com. 
  12. ^ "Asset Management in the UK 2016-2017" (PDF). The Investment Management Association. September 2017. p. 12. Retrieved 5 March 2018. 
  13. ^ "Price comparison sites face probe". BBC News. 2008-01-22. Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  14. ^ "UK Insurance & Long Term Savings Key Facts 2015" (PDF). Association of British Insurers. September 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2018. 
  15. ^ "The Nilson Report - News and Statistics for Card and Mobile Payment Executives". 
  16. ^ "UK trade surplus in financial services highest ever". TheCityUK. 21 July 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  17. ^ Clark, David (2003). Urban world/global city. Routledge. pp. 174–176. "ISBN "0415320976 ; Shubik, Martin (1999). The theory of money and financial institutions. MIT Press. p. 8. "ISBN "0262693119. 
  18. ^ Roberts, Richard (2008). The City: A Guide to London's Global Financial Centre. Economist. pp. 1–22. 
  19. ^ "UK's financial services trade surplus biggest in the world, dwarfing its nearest rivals". TheCityUK. 3 July 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  20. ^ "Special report on services exports" (PDF). EY Item Club. June 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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