So what exactly are financial services?

Financial services help with the making, investment and management of money for both people and organisations; for example, trading shares in the stock market, or helping people put money away for a rainy day.

Banks are places to keep your money but it doesn’t just sit there in a vault. Banks use that money and lend it to people who need it; for example, people who want to buy a house or a car. The borrower will then pay that money back to the bank, plus an additional cost in the form of interest.

Organisations other than banks also deal with money. Trust funds and stockbrokers may buy and sell commodities like coffee or oil. They aim to buy at a low price and sell at a higher one, much like a coffee shop, except they don’t keep the product in a warehouse.

The financial services sector also serves the public by giving out advice on how they might make the most of their savings.

But it’s not just about money…

Job roles within financial services are varied and not does not limit to simply buying and selling. There are also roles to do with supporting the processes, such as analysts and economists.

Whether your ambition is to work in a highly charged and competitive environment of institutional dealing, or to build relationships with clients, or you want to support others… the finance professional arena has a place for your talents.

Introduction to Securities & Investment

This is a 10 part video series produced by the CISI to help you learn more about some of the key components of the financial services sector.

Financial Services

Introducing Derivatives

Forwards and Futures

Options explained

Bonds explained

Government Bonds

Corporate Bonds

Bond Equity

Money Markets

Risk & Rewards

The services of a bank are generally broken into three areas...

Front Office 👈

Middle Office 👈

Back Office 👈

Front Office

Teams in the front office generally deal with customers, provide services, and are responsible for the production of revenue for the company. So, in a high street bank, front office job roles are the tellers, loan officers/mortgage specialists and advisers. In the investment banking area, the front office are the investment managers, investment advisers, traders and relationship managers.

Activities include: mergers & acquisitions, corporate e and professional investment management for or high-net-worth individuals, professional analysis of companies and markets, wealth management, private equity and investment strategy formulation.

Example Job Role: Investment Analyst

Investment analysts provide information and reports to help stock market traders, stockbrokers and fund managers make decisions about investments. Working in this role, your research would highlight new investment opportunities or show when an investment is starting to lose some of its value.

In this job you will need to understand economics and business. You will need communication, maths and IT skills. If you enjoy research and analysis, and you are interested in financial markets, this job could be perfect for you.

Select an area below for more information:

Asset Management

Asset management is the professional management of assets or investments for a wide range of clients including government agencies, pension funds and companies and collective or pooled schemes such as investment trusts, ISAs and mutual funds.

Retail & Corporate Banking

Retail Banks: More commonly known as high street banks, retail banks provide banking services, loan facilities and financial advice to businesses and members of the public through large branch networks. Jobs in retail banks are predominantly customer-facing, such as working as a cashier, financial adviser, small business or branch manager.

Corporate banking: Corporate banking provides financial services tailored to meet the needs of larger companies. Commercial banking requirements can be quite different when compared with small businesses, as the volume, size and complexity of transactions are significant and therefore potentially riskier.

Wealth Management

Wealth management is all about managing money. Investment managers advise people on where they should invest and help them get the most from their money.

Sales & Trading

The functions of sales and trading within an investment bank is to help large organisations, governments, commercial and non-commercial organisations - raise money through selling securities such as bonds and equities on the capital markets. Practitioners in this area can deal with anything from stocks and bonds to foreign exchange, while researching the market for the best opportunities.

Financial Planning

Financial planning involves interviewing a customer to discover not only their financial goals but also whether these are achievable given the estimated level of income and other factors or constraints such as debts owing, dependents to provide for, health, age, and tolerance to investment risks.


Insurance brokers analyse clients’ needs and negotiate the best deal with insurance companies. This could be for individuals or for businesses. Within the insurance industry there are lots of opportunities. These range from highly specialised, analytical roles to general business management.