Financial service is one of the component of the financial system, Lets look at the meaning and its importance.
Meaning of financial services
Financial service is part of financial system that provides different types of finance through various credit instruments, financial products and services.
In financial instruments, we come across cheques, bills, promissory notes, debt instruments, letter of credit, etc.
In financial products, we come across different types of mutual funds. extending various types of investment opportunities. In addition, there are also products such as credit cards, debit cards, etc.
In services we have leasing, factoring, hire purchase finance etc., through which various types of assets can be acquired either for ownership or on lease. There are different types of leases as well as factoring too.
Thus, financial services enable the user to obtain any asset on credit, according to his convenience and at a reasonable interest rate.
Importance of Financial services
It is the presence of financial services that enables a country to improve its economic condition whereby there is more production in all the sectors leading to economic growth.
The benefit of economic growth is reflected on the people in the form of economic prosperity wherein the individual enjoys higher standard of living. It is here the financial services enable an individual to acquire or obtain various consumer products through hire purchase. In the process, there are a number of financial institutions which also earn profits. The presence of these financial institutions promote investment, production, saving etc.
Hence, we can bring out the importance of financial services in the following points:
1. Promoting investment
The presence of financial services creates more demand for products and the producer, in order to meet the demand from the consumer goes for more investment. At this stage, the financial services comes to the rescue of the investor such as merchant banker through the new issue market, enabling the producer to raise capital.
The stock market helps in mobilizing more funds by the investor. Investments from abroad is attracted. Factoring and leasing companies, both domestic and foreign enable the producer not only to sell the products but also to acquire modern machinery/technology for further production.
2. Promoting savings
Financial services such as mutual funds provide ample opportunity for different types of saving. In fact, different types of investment options are made available for the convenience of pensioners as well as aged people so that they can be assured of a reasonable return on investment without much risks.
For people interested in the growth of their savings, various reinvestment opportunities are provided. The laws enacted by the government regulate the working of various financial services in such a way that the interests of the public who save through these financial institutions are highly protected.
3. Minimizing the risks
The risks of both financial services as well as producers are minimized by the presence of insurance companies. Various types of risks are covered which not only offer protection from the fluctuating business conditions but also from risks caused by natural calamities.
Insurance is not only a source of finance but also a source of savings, besides minimizing the risks. Taking this aspect into account, the government has not only privatized the life insurance but also set up a regulatory authority for the insurance companies known as IRDA, 1999 (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) .
4. Maximizing the Returns
The presence of financial services enables businessmen to maximize their returns. This is possible due to the availability of credit at a reasonable rate. Producers can avail various types of credit facilities for acquiring assets. In certain cases, they can even go for leasing of certain assets of very high value.
Factoring companies enable the seller as well as producer to increase their turnover which also increases the profit. Even under stiff competition, the producers will be in a position to sell their products at a low margin. With a higher turnover of stocks, they are able to maximize their return.
5. Ensures greater Yield
As seen already, there is a subtle difference between return and yield. It is the yield which attracts more producers to enter the market and increase their production to meet the demands of the consumer. The financial services enable the producer to not only earn more profits but also maximize their wealth.
Financial services enhance their goodwill and induce them to go in for diversification. The stock market and the different types of derivative market provide ample opportunities to get a higher yield for the investor.
6. Economic growth
The development of all the sectors is essential for the development of the economy. The financial services ensure equal distribution of funds to all the three sectors namely, primary, secondary and tertiary so that activities are spread over in a balanced manner in all the three sectors. This brings in a balanced growth of the economy as a result of which employment opportunities are improved.
The tertiary or service sector not only grows and this growth is an important sign of development of any economy. In a well developed country, service sector plays a major role and it contributes more to the economy than the other two sectors.
7. Economic development
Financial services enable the consumers to obtain different types of products and services by which they can improve their standard of living. Purchase of car, house and other essential as well as luxurious items is made possible through hire purchase, leasing and housing finance companies. Thus, the consumer is compelled to save while he enjoys the benefits of the assets which he has acquired with the help of financial services.
8. Benefit to Government
The presence of financial services enables the government to raise both short-term and long-term funds to meet both revenue and capital expenditure. Through the money market, government raises short term funds by the issue of Treasury Bills. These are purchased by commercial banks from out of their depositors’ money.
In addition to this, the government is able to raise long-term funds by the sale of government securities in the securities market which forms apart of financial market. Even foreign exchange requirements of the government can be met in the foreign exchange market.
The most important benefit for any government is the raising of finance without offering any security. In this way, the financial services are a big boon to the government.
9. Expands activities of Financial Institutions
The presence of financial services enables financial institutions to not only raise finance but also get an opportunity to disburse their funds in the most profitable manner. Mutual funds, factoring, credit cards, hire purchase finance are some of the services which get financed by financial institutions.
The financial institutions are in a position to expand their activities and thus diversify the use of their funds for various activities. This ensures economic dynamism.
10. Capital Market
One of the barometers of any economy is the presence of a vibrant capital market. If there is hectic activity in the capital market, then it is an indication of the presence of a positive economic condition. The financial services ensure that all the companies are able to acquire adequate funds to boost production and to reap more profits eventually.
In the absence of financial services, there will be paucity of funds which will adversely affect the working of companies and will only result in a negative growth of the capital market. When the capital market is more active, funds from foreign countries also flow in. Hence, the changes in capital market is mainly due to the availability of financial services.
11. Promotion of Domestic and Foreign Trade
Financial services ensure promotion of domestic as well as foreign trade. The presence of factoring and forfaiting companies ensures increasing sale of goods in the domestic market and export of goods in the foreign market. Banking and insurance services further contribute to step up such promotional activities.
12. Balanced Regional development
The government monitors the growth of economy and regions that remain backward economically are given fiscal and monetary benefits through tax and cheaper credit by which more investment is promoted. This generates more production, employment, income, demand and ultimately increase in prices.
The producers will earn more profits and can expand their activities further. So, the presence of financial services helps backward regions to develop and catch up with the rest of the country that has developed already.