Financial services sector has long been a target for regulators, who have seen it as a haven for risky borrowers, and a major source of tax revenue.
But a growing number of firms have been opening their doors to the public to offer products and services for a fee, which can be lucrative.
The new generation of financial services firms have emerged from the ashes of the financial crisis, with many new firms taking a different approach to the sector.
This new wave of businesses is also making them attractive to the less savvy consumer, who may want to make the switch for their own personal financial benefit.
How can a small business grow and thrive?
The key to growing in a highly competitive financial sector is being proactive and not waiting to take risks, said Michael Byrne, chief executive of Ulster Financial Services.
He said that by looking at the different business models that can be viable, and developing the right culture, there are a variety of opportunities for businesses.
“You don’t need to be a billionaire or an angel investor to find great businesses.
If you know what you are looking for, you can find it,” he said.
What can a business do to attract new customers? “
If you are not able to find that then you will be missing out on great things.”
What can a business do to attract new customers?
The first step is to have a business plan and identify what kind of customer you want to attract, Mr Byrne said.
He added that this is especially important when it comes to a financial service company.
“They are looking to attract people that have a lot of disposable income, they have some savings and they are looking at how they can use that to grow the business,” he explained.
“In a way, you have to be careful when you talk about the business model because that can give them an advantage.
You have to understand where you are going to get that revenue, what is your plan to make money and how do you grow the team.”
Another key element to building a successful financial service business is to make sure you have the resources you need.
“The first thing is to be able.
You need the right funding, you need the ability to grow.
And the second is to develop a culture of innovation, because if you don’t, then you are in trouble,” Mr Byrne explained.
He suggested that the financial services industry should look at the roles it has to play in the society.
“We need to create a financial system that supports people who are unemployed, who are in debt, who don’t have a job and who need a bank account, a pension and a health insurance,” he stressed.
“A financial system where people can make money from their own savings, where people have access to a banking service and they can make a purchase on the internet, where the cost of living is reduced, and where there is a better environment for people to live in.”
What are the benefits of a financial services business?
A financial services firm can provide you with financial advice and investment advice, which may include advice on personal finance, credit, investments, tax advice and more.
“Some of the services are very specific to the industry, like you might be able have a financial adviser that specializes in the mortgage market, or a financial advisor that specializes on credit,” Mr Bennett said.
However, the most important part of a banking business is the service you provide, he said, adding that this can be done for free, so long as you have a reputable credit score.
The financial services sector is expected to grow at around 8 per cent a year by 2021, with the total number of people expected to reach 5.2 million.