Financial services, as the name implies, are finance-related services that businesses provide to clients. In a Canadian context, the best example relates to the country’s large banks. The World Economic Forum ranked Canada’s large banks as the safest on the planet following the 2008 financial crisis.
There is no accepted definition of financial services. In addition to banks, the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) also includes asset managers (such as mutual funds and pension plans) and insurance companies in the category. Financial services firms comprise one of the country’s largest business sectors. In 2019, they accounted for $3.2 billion of the $15.9 billion raised by diversified companies listed on the TSX.
Toronto, which is widely viewed as Canada’s financial centre, is also growing in importance on the international stage. The city added 60,000 new jobs to the sector between 2012 and 2018 alone. According to the Conference Board of Canada, one out of every 12 jobs in the Toronto area is financial services related. In all, the industry accounted for 12.9 per cent of the city’s economy in 2018, second only to public services.