Industry Overview: Financial Industry

Published: Apr 5, 2017
Last Updated: Apr 5, 2017

Tax season is upon us! We doubt many of you look forward to this period, except of course the accountants among us.   It is a time when we reflect on our finances and whether someone can assist us in meeting our financial targets.  This overview is for the financial savvy among us who dream of helping others meet their financial goals and build a safety net.

Usually when we write industry overviews, we focus on a specific industry. For this one we are making an exception and discussing a category: “Finance and Insurance.”  The “Finance and Insurance” category encompasses three industries– Financial Advisory, Insurance and Accounting. The bigger companies that provide these services usually focus on one or the other; however, small businesses tend to work with a team who can advise clients on their various financial needs. It is not uncommon for a business to advise someone on their mortgage, retirement, savings plans, alongside offering insurance products and helping them with taxes!

Industry Overview

According to a report by Advantage BC the financial services sector is one of British Columbia’s fastest growing areas of the economy, “contributing $35 billion to the provinces annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP)”.  The report cites Vancouver’s presence within the North American trading zone (the largest in the world), proximity to Pacific Rim markets, and growth of FinTech and other technological ventures as reasons for the growth.

Industry Trends and Challenges

BC’s financial industry is not sheltered from the ebbs and flow of international finance. When advising clients, financial advisors have to consider the opportunities and risks of not just  one market but several across the world, from developed markets to emerging to frontier ones. There are also numerous vehicles available for investment including mutual funds, real estate, pension plans etc. The recent increase in start up activity in Vancouver will also bring a wide array of investment opportunities.

Larger companies and changing regulations will continue to remain challenging for the industry. Accountants face increasing competition from SaaS (software-as-a-service) offerings that help individual as well as small businesses with their accounts and tax returns.  

Resources

Morning Star Canada

Independent Financial Brokers of Canada

Canadian Underwriter

Canadian Couch Potato

Publications by CPABC

Additional Resources

The following guides are designed to help prospective and existing business owners gather information for their secondary market research. Each guide is broken down into four main sections that cover how to start your research, industry information, competitive information and customer information. Depending on your needs you can spend as much or as little time as necessary in each section.

If you find that you need more guidance before starting your secondary research, check out our Business Research Basics Guide, it will help you focus on what types of information you will need to gather and why it is important.

 

Reference

Eagar, M & M. Eagar. (2016, Dec. 7). Positioning British Columbia as a Global Fin Tech Hub. Vancouver, BC: AdvantageBC. Retrieved from http://advantagebc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/AdvantageBC-Report-Posi...

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