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Learn More About Financial

Through vastly encompassing and common method financial services are explained as any service, line of work, association or office that administers finance or aids, various lines of work, companies, corporations, non-earning or private persons that handles or puts in their finances. This can consist of different types of monetary assistance banks, insurance corporations, credit concern, mortgage business, investment agents and associations on the home front, nationwide or globally.

Normally anybody can get into financial services to have an appreciation of how most utilize their finances by employing one of the various financial services open in many districts. A lot of individuals see banks as the primary source of data about financial services, but other organizations such as investment corporations, stockbroker companies and even specific venture business that perform only as consultant mode consortium may likewise be a model choice depending on your monetary standing, your credit reputation and record, and how big an outlay you want to partake. All categories of financial handlings may also comprise in this title including credit supervision services, credit coverage and credit merger and administration of debt groups and conglomerates.

Asset administration is a main factor of most financial handlings. Asset administration entails exploiting the prospective income of assets stock market dealing, money market or international market. This practice, relying on the stage and category of venture may be moderately safe or may be exceedingly risky, so the dealers in the monetary business can make recommendations and give a list on the expected income and dangers of the deal. Utilizing any category of financial or business service does have perils, but with calculated choices of business or investments and a good perception of market states, a lot of earnings can be done. The top seven asset administration monetary handlings are in the United States.

The entire monetary handlings in the United States must adhere to procedures and rules established by the House Financial Services Committee of the US government. Such procedures and rules are done to aid in protecting investors and guarantee that all financial handlings are completed within the bounds of law and ethics. Some of the Acts and laws that the House Financial Committee administers are the US Housing Act, The Truth in Lending Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Federal Reserve Bank and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The Committee likewise examines international businesses and ventures within the United States from alien businessmen. This cautious checking and re-evaluation aids monetary services have an excellent, most safe and reasonable prospects for venture on any range.

What Types of Broker Financial Services

Broker financial services is a term that encompasses a variety of services, typically to the individual investor, that take a client’s entire financial plan into account. The exact services vary between firms, but most provide some or all of certain basic functions.

One of the first things the broker will do is sit down with the client and determine the client’s goals and expectations. Naturally, buying and selling stocks and bonds is one of the broker financial services offered, but the broker will also analyze the client’s willingness and ability to take risks. For those with little risk tolerance, such as those near retirement age who have a comfortable nest egg established, he will recommend funds that minimize risk. Others who have the need to be more aggressive in their investment strategies may be directed to higher risk opportunities, such as hedge funds.

The analysis of the client’s insurance needs is also typically included with broker financial services. Life insurance, long term care, or umbrella policies may all be evaluated or recommended. The sales of the policies are sometimes handled by the firm, but may also be acquired elsewhere.

Broker financial services usually include directing the investments in a 401(k) or SEP to help maximize the return. They can also assist with 401(k) rollovers or evaluation of a self-directed plan.

Home ownership and/or equity evaluation may also be offered as broker financial services. Topics such as the timing of sales (for purposes of capital gains taxes) or reverse home mortgages are often included in the package of broker financial services offered.

Retirement planning is one of the main functions of broker financial services. The broker will meet with the client to determine how much will be needed for a comfortable retirement. By factoring in such things as inflation, current salary and savings, expected income from Social Security, among others, the broker can advise how much the client needs to save or invest and the rate of return needed to achieve the stated goal.

Inheritance planning may also be one of the broker financial services offered by some firms. The broker can advise on the benefits and disadvantages of trusts, “gifting” the inheritance during life, and other strategies that can impact the taxes for their heirs.

Few online firms can offer complete broker financial services. Most often, it is necessary to find a firm locally so that clients can meet face to face with the broker for a lengthy initial consultation and then periodic follow ups.

When planning to allow one firm to handle all broker financial services, it is important for potential clients to investigate the firm’s credentials and record. For example, if the firm sells insurance, they should be properly licensed and registered. Likewise, they should have the ability to trade directly on the market floor. It is also best if the broker is a licensed financial planner, with credentials in estate planning. Large, established firms with nationwide offices are typically safer, since small, independent brokers can go out of business for a variety of reasons, perhaps taking your investments along.

Financial Services

Economic growth brings growth in financial industries. Financial Industries refers to financial services. Growth in financial industries always creates abundant of financial jobs for the job seekers. The finance manager are more favorable to handle the complexity in financial transaction and also manage growing amount of investments. They also need to handle different types of financial services like mergers and acquisitions, raise capital and assess global financial transaction.

As economic expands there will be financial growth over the next decades. If we talk about the career in this sector than there are number of career opportunities in financial sectors like commercial banking, banking, insurance etc. This sector creates lots of best job opportunities and best career growth for job seekers.

There are some different kinds of financial services provided by the finance industries like commercial banking, insurance sector, banking (private and public), Foreign Exchange services, Investment services etc.

Commercial Banking

Commercial Banking includes loan issuance (credit appraisal, account management), mortgage services, leasing, credit card banking, international finance, trade credit, trust services and overall operational handling.

Insurance Sector

Insurance sector consist of the insurance brokerage, insurance underwriting where job seeker can have the job like insurance broker, Stock brokers etc.

Investment Banking

Considered as the most glamorous area in finance, investment banking includes corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, project finance, trading, structured finance, management of financial assets, trade of securities and financial advice. Other types of banking service includes like capital market bank, Bank card, private bank etc.

Increase Property and Casualty Agency Revenues Through Financial

Increased pressures to capture a larger market share through the sale of Financial Services products to existing clients has touched most agencies. Some owners push back, some accept the pressure as part of the business and die early and others actually do something about it.

Actually, it is true that people are more likely to buy from people they have bought from before so it would seem that agency owners could see the synergistic possibilities and act upon them. But selling financial services to existing clients is often more challenging than it would seem.

While many Property and Casualty carriers have good Financial Services products, or at least good enough, to compete with Big Life and Financial Services guys, they are seldom capable of convincing their agents to do so.

The reason is often related to what is known as the “Path of Least Resistance.” It is true that it is easier to sell something required (if you have a loan or mortgage you must insure it) than it is to sell something that is just “Nice to Do,” like providing for your family in more ways than one, or providing for a comfortable retirement or just plain paying for a college education.

In that regard, where many agency owners struggle with the question of need, the truth is that most every clients, when asked the question; What do you most want in life? They will say something like this;

  1. Live a life with minimal financial worries
    2. Provide a College Education for my children
    3. Retire in comfort
    4. Know my family can make it if I am gone

That’s it! Just those four things and they all involve Financial Services. Every property and casualty agent can increase their by 25% if they met only one of those common needs. And it is true that their client would really rather buy those products from them than the Life Insurance Agent that has been bugging them for the last several months. So why don’t they? Answer: The Property and Casualty Agent fails to ask.

There will be some clients that need more sophisticated help but most are simple needs like Life Insurance, IRAs, and Disability. For those clients who need more sophisticated help, they can be served by the Agency Financial Specialist or whatever you wish to call them and you can make even more money. Bottom line, keep focused on what you customer wants and remember they are your customer until someone else sells them something you should.

I have found that most agency owners are very receptive to finding new ways to advance revenues without increasing expenses. One thing that gets the owner’s attention faster than anything else is a realistic look at potential.

Here is a cost free plan for adding 25 percent, minimum to your agency revenues by selling Financial Services to existing policyholders:

  1. Survey and Identify the potential
    2. Keep your target simple (remember people only want 4 things)
    3. Bring in a Financial Services professional to work the existing book
    4. Revise your Agent Training Program
    5. Hire a coach to work with your sales team (one of the best investments you will make)

New Financial Services

SSON speaks to Susir Kumar (MD & CEO, Intelenet) and Suresh Ramani (President – North America Sales & Operations, Intelenet) about outsourcing trends for the next year, acquisition of captive centers by BPO and how changes in the U.S. healthcare represent opportunities for Intelenet.

SSON: Let’s start with a look at BPO generally. We’re just seeing the back end of a global recession – how has this affected Intelenet over the past few months?

Susir Kumar: OK. A BPO is basically the back end of a company’s operations, so we handle their customers’ transactions. Through the recession period we have seen, for example, banks issuing a lesser number of credit cards; banks giving fewer mortgages; the new accounts that are being opened up have reduced. We are the back-end supporter of these clients of ours: the volumes coming in from these clients of ours have actually gone down, so if we were issuing 60,000 cards a month for a particular client it perhaps went down to as little as about 5,000. We became extremely concerned about issuing any further loans [while] people were just not willing to spend money or buy things, and all of that had a significant impact on the number of transactions and the number of calls coming in.

What we first saw in this initial phase of this whole recession was volume reduction, and a whole lot of companies being extremely concerned about whether they would survive through this phase of recession or not. So everyone started strategizing around how to survive. We had a set of companies which thought by taking certain actions they would survive, and then we had a set of companies which were pretty concerned about their survival. So in some companies we actually saw some drastic measures being taken, and now people were not expecting the traditional outsourcing deals. They were asking us “Tell us how you can accelerate the cost savings process? I know you can give us 50% reduction of costs after 18 months: is there a way that you can give us 30% right now?” So it was a completely new expectation that came in, and I think after the first six months of recession we saw a lot of companies coming out with the question, [so] we had to change our value proposition or our offers to clients and prospects… Then we started observing, over the next six months to about nine months, that these companies were making faster decisions: in the past it would take anything between six to 18 months to take a decision on outsourcing or offshoring, but during this phase we were seeing companies taking decisions as quick as maybe two or three months.

We noticed that clients who had outsourced just about 15% or 20%, were all talking to us about how they could increase the outsourcing/offshoring percentage, and get their costs down; so we also went after every company that had outsourced just a small component, and we told them that “yes, in this case you are saving $5 million a year, or $10 million a year; here is another opportunity where you can accelerate and increase the scope of offshoring and outsourcing, and you could save potentially double or triple the amount that you are currently saving.” The third thing that we saw was, [before the recession] people would not make an offshoring or outsourcing decision if the saving was, say, less than 40%. In the new environment we saw that even if we gave a value proposition of savings of 15%, people would make a decision. Three years back we would never go to a company if the value proposition was just a 15% saving.

I think right now we are in this phase – where from the bottom our clients have actually been growing about 5 to 10%, so we have already seen more cards being issued, more mortgages being given, more people traveling; in the travel segment that we handle, we are seeing a lot of demand coming up. And in the last six months most of the companies that have downsized their own labor force, are all believing that there is going to be some growth in the next six to 12 months. Albeit, these companies are not convinced that this growth is going to be sustainable; people are generally believe that 2012, is where they will see a growth equal to what they saw in 2007-2008. So the value proposition that we are offering to our clients is: ‘you guys have come out with a plan for next year that talks about 10% growth versus the bottom; rather than you building your own capacity and people why don’t you look at working with us, because you can turn on the tap or turn off the tap with us, whereas it’s more difficult for you guys to do it in your environment where it’s expensive and more regulated.’

SSON: Looking forward then, Susir, what now do you see as the biggest challenges facing outsourcing providers? And how are you positioning Intelenet to overcome these?

SK: Just to give you a summary: over the last, say, 18 months to 20 months, we’ve actually seen a reduction or a contraction of our existing business of around 10% to 15%. But there is new demand which is offsetting this shrinkage, and net-net we are still seeing a 10% growth. The good news is that people are making faster decisions and looking at outsourcing more. Because of these multiple reasons and the fact that we are giving them capacity as a value rather than just cost, there has been a growth in our existing-to-new business, to the extent of almost 25%, which after offsetting the 10%-15% shrinkage still accounts for 10% net growth. So that’s the bottom line of the whole thing.

People are also negotiating more. And people have actually tested the market in the last 18 to 24 months and trying to squeeze a little more out of service providers like us. When they came in through this phase of recession and asked us for a 5% or 10% discount, we gave it to them because these are long-term relationships, and we have to reciprocate in some form in their time of difficulty. Now this is becoming a new norm for pricing.

We have also learned in the last 18 months or 24 months to run the operations more efficiently. So what we have been telling the clients in the last 18 months is, “ok, you guys want a 10% discount, we’ll give you a 10% discount. But don’t dictate to me in terms of where the operations should be run from, what should be the span of control, what should be the kind of technology – you tell me what is the end result you want, in terms of efficiencies, in terms of turnaround times, in terms of accuracy, and let me decide how and from where to run the operations, and I’ll give you the 10% discount.” So what has happened in the last 18-24 months is we have been given the freedom to decide how to run and from where to run the operation.

Net-net, though we have reduced the price, we have been able to get the same margin as what we were getting in the past..

Another big challenge is that people are asking for more and more financially structured deals, rather than the regular outsourcing which is a per-FT price or a per-transaction price; it’s becoming a little more complex. They are asking us to fund the redundancy, they are asking us to fund the set-up costs; there are a few clients that are asking us to take an outcome-based pricing, and we’re taking more and more of that. I think from a risk perspective, we are now required to factor in if at all we have funded the redundancy – and if the contract is say over a period of 5 years, if it actually gets terminated before that, then we will not have to cover the entire funding of redundancy that we have done.

Companies are also coming and telling us, “guys, just take our operation lock stock and barrel, and you guys decide the onshore/offshore mix, etc: this is what we want as outcomes.” And what that means to us is investment; taking over the risk of pensions of these employees and costs associated with just aligning that new business that we buy out with our business, and so on and so forth. In the last six months we have done about five acquisitions of just the back-end operations of a company. And that always has the challenge of integration – and the risks.

SSON: That’s an interesting point: at the moment we’re seeing a lot of BPOs buying into shared services captives, for example Cognizant and UBS: is that something on your agenda for 2010?

SK: Yes they are, and actually, one of the advantages we have is we’re not a listed company, and being a part of Blackstone, we do have access to capital. When you acquire a back office of an existing company, what you need is capital, and an ability to take the impact on your P&Ls for the first six months or a year of buying out the company.

For example, if I were to buy the back office of an existing company, the company would expect a reduction of costs of, say, 20%. In the moment that you buy it and you start billing 20% less the next day, you’re actually incurring a loss in your books, because the cost structure and the way the operations are designed needs you to spend, for example, 100 and you’re only actually billing the client about 90. There’s a hole in your P&L. Only after about six months to one year you will start reducing your costs, you will start building efficiencies in the processes and so on and so forth, and you will be able to bring down your costs from 100 to, say, 80 or so – and because the client is paying 90, you start making a profit of 10. What this means to us is it will impact on our P&L accounts for a period of one year. But because we are not listed it really doesn’t matter to us; and the good thing is, normally when you do a transaction like this we ask them for a lock-in – to provide us a commitment of business for a period of time. And as I told you we did about five transactions in the last six months: all of those five transactions have come with a revenue commitment for a period of time. You will see us do more and more of these kinds of deals both onshore as well as offshore.

SSON: Who have you done transactions with over the last five months?

SK: We have done one transaction with one of the large banks, we are about to finish off a transaction in the UK. We bought two captives from travel companies, we bought one captive from a very large bank, we about to buy one very large captive from a transport company in the UK and we have also bought another company in the retail space, reasonably big: about 200-300 seats.

SSON: Moving on, Susir – let’s take a look at healthcare? We are running this a US healthcare series with Intelenet, can you give us some insight into the work you are doing directly in this space?

SK: There are two things. Firstly, Blackstone has about ten companies in the healthcare space in the US, either on the provider side and the payer side. Secondly, we are looking towards the regulatory changes that are taking place in the US: The new regulations will mean if a person in the US goes and applies for insurance, that person has to be given an insurance policy. Today they may just go and tell a customer that they will not give insurance coverage at all. The Obama administration is opening up insurance in that, earlier, insurance companies could only provide insurance for people in a particular jurisdiction – which could be a particular state, for example the state of Arizona. Now they have allowed these insurance players to give insurance policies across the United States.

So taking Arizona again for example – say there were four large insurance companies giving health insurance; all of a sudden now there are companies from New York that are issuing polices in Arizona, there are companies in Texas issuing policies in Arizona. The number of companies actually providing insurance cover has gone up by virtue of this new regulation. So in suammary, they cannot deny people coverage and the competition has actually gone up. By virtue of this we believe that both the insurance payers and insurance providers will have an implication on their cost and profitability.

A new code is also being prescribed. If you look at any medical diagnosis or procedure in the US or across the globe, it needs to be codified. For example if someone is diagnosed with four ailments, each of those needs to be coded; or if some surgery has been performed on a particular person then this again needs to be coded. This coding helps to keep medical records, and also helps to pay the insurance company and the hospitals – so insurance companies use this code to work out how much to pay for hospitals based on whatever ailments they have. Now this code is undergoing a change from what is called an ICD9 to an ICD10 which increases and changes the way things are codified.

So what does all of this mean to companies? Firstly, they will need to retrain their people in coding, they need to change the systems that they use for coding and, because the number of codes has gone up, they need to get more people into coding. The government will monitor payers and providers to make sure the coding is done properly. All of this will cause a huge impact on the healthcare companies in terms of costs and profitability so our value proposition at this point in time is that we can come in and help with codification. You don’t need to train people at your end, because we can either get these people onshore in the US or we can help you with an offshore solution. When you provide an offshore solution, the cost comes down – or it helps with the new issue we have in terms of competition and the universal access. As we have access to the ten companies in the Blackstone portfolio, we are already doing work for a few of them, we can just leverage this expertise and get across the whole market. So the reason we are focusing on the US is, one, to take advantage of the new situation, and two, to leverage the expertise we are already building by virtue of doing work for a few of these Blackstone portfolio companies, both on the payer and the provider side.

Suresh Ramani: I think if you were to draw a context of where US healthcare has been traditionally and where it is moving, I think there is cause for worry. If you look at the spend in 2008, they spent about $2.4 trillion on healthcare – which is about 17% of GDP – and of that $2.4 trillion, 80% of that went to 20% of the population of the US of the insured. That number today is going to double, within the next eight years the spend on healthcare will be about $4.5 trillion. So you can see the exponential growth and with all the reforms which Susir has talked about, such as universal access and going outside the state to insure, the risk appetite of all the providers is going to go up.

The other big piece is the unfunded mandates which are the conversions of ICD9 to ICD10 which as a program, I think, whether other countries have adopted, the US has to adopt, and that will be a regulation which has to come into effect by 2012. So, these are again costs that the providers and payers need to absorb.

Another big component to this is in terms of the reimbursements which will come down, because the Obama administration wants about $400 billion out of the spend to pay off the deficit. So if all this is going to happen, the payers have to focus on their operating costs if at all they are to survive – or there will have to be a story of consolidation or elimination out of the 1,800 payers in the American market.

There is also the issue of regulatory compliance. With all these changes, it is difficult to keep processes up to date; as a result healthcare insurance carriers are not meeting obligations to the state, to the federal government – and they are paying huge penalties. So Intelenet can step in here and fix these problems. The most important piece to that is not only do we consult but we actually implement process improvements. The other piece to this is that we get solutions which are both BPO and technology related so there is process optimization that we focus on and an enabler to that is outsourcing or offshoring. So clearly three things: regulatory compliance, driving down operational costs and improving quality, I think are our three pillars, if you will, of our service delivery.

SSON: Susir, you talked about the services that are being outsourced: processes and compliance etc, and you mentioned coding. What other services do you expect the healthcare industry in the US to outsource to you?

SK: There are two sets of people in this space: providers – basically hospitals and payers who are the insurance companies. On the providers’ side, there are also companies which provide medical equipment – so again another huge market. For example, the services we provide for hospitals are coding, billing services, contact center support, claiming monies from insurance companies – if somebody goes through a procedure then we need to ensure that the doctor writes it on a form and the form is scanned and it comes to us – we need the machine, we need to do the right coding, we need to send it to the insurance company to check that it is covered. If it is not covered by the insurance and it’s a deductible amount, we need to go after the insured. Then we need to raise a bill and say the payers challenge what we have invoiced, we negotiate and close those issues. Then there are complaints, and complaints management. On the payers side we receive invoices, we pay invoices, and we reconcile accounts.

SSON: Are you providing these services from onshore or are you providing from locations in India?

SK: There are clients who are asking us to do some piece of work onshore in our location, or in near-shore locations, or offshore. So, we are working with all of the models. We are offering clients both India and the Philippines. The Philippines has a lot of nurses who are either looking at going to the U.S. or who have returned back from the U.S. So that is a big pool that we are tapping into to say that “if you work with us in the healthcare space, it may be an added experience for you guys when you seek a job in the U.S”. Or for people who have come back from the US, when they already know the nuances and systems there, they can be readily employed in an environment such as the Philippines. We also have a site in Poland, again a good site from where we provide services in healthcare.

SSON: You are obviously looking very closely at the US healthcare space; do you foresee Intelenet possibly expanding into other countries?

SK: We have had a client from the UK for the past 8 years. But as there is a huge demand now from the US, we are all focused on the US. [But] we will be going beyond the US to other geographies. India itself is a huge market. The amount of people who are getting covered under insurance in India is huge; everybody now wants cover and there are a lot of healthcare companies, both on the provider and payer sides, coming into India. This is a completely new market for us.

SSON: So why do you think new customers – within the US or India further down the line – should sign with you as opposed to any of your competitors?

SK: I did mention to you that we have about ten companies in the Blackstone portfolio, all of whom we’re working with pretty closely – and the work that they give us covers almost the entire range of work that healthcare insurance companies look at outsourcing. Now these companies have not been used to offshoring and outsourcing as much as the financial services sector, and one big thing they will look for is, “are you guys really doing this, why I am looking at outsourcing?” And we are able to demonstrate an actual live case of the work they’re expecting to outsource. Also what we have done is significantly enhanced our management of healthcare, so we have of late recruited about half a dozen people who are some of the best-known people in the healthcare industry in the US; these are the guys who actually build applications for healthcare companies. We’re also leveraging, through the Blackstone portfolio, networking with people who are actually working in the companies, to see how they can work along with us, to build solutions for some of the companies in the U.S. We have a program where we can actually import people who are working with healthcare companies as part of the Intelenet team.

SSON: What other sectors do you think will provide you with the greatest scope for expansion over the next few years?

Suresh Ramani: I think there are some key areas that are going to grow in the US market. One is utilities and the second is government spends, but healthcare makes the biggest growth pie. Clearly speaking for us as an organization the US contributes about one third of our revenues. We’re equally distributed in the Indian market as well as the UK market. On an overall basis we see the banking industry again moving, not at an aggressive pace, but at a reasonable pace over the next 18-24 months; we can see some good traction in the marketplace. And we are very strong in the banking and financial services space. We have today close to about 8,000 people working in this market, and doing all the types of processing that you can think of doing for a bank. In short, if we had the money, we would be a bank ourselves!

Another area of growth for us is travel and hospitality. Susir started off pointing out that people are not travelling so much, but it’s a matter of time: when the economy starts looking up, there will be demand for travel as well as hotels. So that’s an area where we already have invested, both onshore and offshore and we have close to about 3,000 people in that space, so that’s again a focus area for us.

Telecoms is a focus for us especially in the Indian market; that’s a sunrise industry, with every month about 1 million customers being added in the Indian market space. Telecoms account for close to about 10% of our revenues today. And of course we are getting into new markets: Australia, we have a presence there, and we also do work for utility companies from Australia. The Middle East is again a good opportunity that we see for banking. And Europe of course with Poland coming in. We also have a center in Mauritius which caters for French opportunities. And all this will give us an identity of being a global player located in these markets who also can do work for these markets from low-cost destinations. So clearly we are moving away from a brand identity of an Indian-based BPO provider to a global BPO provider.

SSON: And is acquiring businesses in those locations a key priority for you?

Suresh Ramani: Absolutely. Like, in the US we already have two centers up and running with close to a thousand people; we have a partner signed in Australia. Susir talked about having a site in the UK now. So big markets, yes, certainly I think that’s a growth engine for us. We want to be present with a reasonable population in each of these countries.

SSON: Where would you like to see Intelenet in five years’ time?

SK: What we’re really trying to be is a one-stop shop for all the things associated with outsourcing and offshoring. There are companies who want multilingual solutions; there are companies who want multi-geography solutions; there are companies who want consultancy solutions; there are companies who want technology solutions; there are companies who want actual business process solutions, which might be either in terms of costs or in terms of efficiency; there are companies who want analytics. So everything which is a pain around the business process side, is what we want to really provide. That’s our focus; in the next five years that’s what we want to be: a company that can design, a company that can put in the relevant technology for implementing the design, and a company that can execute the business process. So we are looking at a one-stop shop for all the things associated with the business process.

SSON: Comparing yourself with other Indian BPOs such as Wipro or Tata – there’s plenty that have emerged out of India – how would you put yourself at the forefront, as an organization?

SK: If you look at Wipro and TCS – all the IT companies, all the large Indian IT companies, they are predominantly focused on IT and BPO is a sub-segment of it. If you look at the percentage of revenue that comes from BPO versus IT, BPO is a very small component. Compared with the IT companies, we are a focused BPO company – and I think that people who are seeking a large impact, like telecom companies or retail companies or banking companies, who have a lot of dependency on good operations to get in new business in new markets, they in the long term would rather work with a focused BPO company than an IT company that has got a subset of BPO, number one.

What we do is basically bolt on technologies which can build efficiencies into the processes that are outsourced or offshored – so we have scanning solutions, workflow solutions, ERM solutions, etc. Whereas the approach that an IT company takes is to build a solution. So that’s a difference between the two of us. There are instances where we lose deals to some of these IT companies; there are instances where we win deals against them. It depends how the buyer is looking at it: if they want more IT and less BPO they’ll go to companies like TCS or Wipro. If they’re looking at specialized BPO services, they come to us.

There’s also going to be competition from the Accentures and the IBMs of this world; but I think there are also issues with them in terms of cost, in terms of flexibility, in terms of speed, and that they’ve become too big, and we think very clearly we have an advantageous position against these guys because of the size and nimbleness and speed and the flexibility with which we can clear transactions. That’s where we have seen we have been able to win deals against these guys.

Why Study Financial Services

In the UK, the financial services industry primarily encompasses banks, insurance providers and credit card companies – as well as accountancy firms and advisory services such as stock brokers. It is perhaps unsurprising that as a subject of study, financial services is broad and far-reaching, and is a valuable addition to the knowledge and skills base needed by anyone eager to pursue a career in the industry – even if they are not entirely sure with which niche their strengths lie, or what they enjoy the most.

So what does a financial services foundation degree teach you?

One of the first core objectives will be to introduce students to the workings of the varying types of financial institutions and markets – and their role and importance within the economy on a wider scale. It is important for anyone with an interest in the financial services to start to understand the rules and laws that govern and control these organizations – and the structures in place to regulate them – from the outset.

It is also likely that any financial services course will involve at least an introductory module to the basic principles of banking, as well as the core business skills that are needed within the industry. The former will likely be in place to ensure all students are familiar with loans and credit and other bank account operations and the role of banks in the economy. The latter will equip the student with skills which can be attributed to all industries, such as verbal and written communication, numerical analysis, and other specifics such as time management and team building exercises.

Many financial services courses will offer optional modules whereby students will be able to choose specialist subjects to study alongside those that make up the core parts of the course. These will go into more detailed areas of the finance industry, such as mortgages and principles of insurance. Mortgage advice, for example, is a multi-faceted subject in itself – and a number of products (such as buy-to-let) need to be studied to understand their differences. The same goes for insurance – and such modules are in place for students to go into more depth into their chosen niches.

A career in the financial services industry will likely be challenging and rewarding. Studying the subject at foundation degree level will not only prepare you with a range of skills that can be utilized across the industry, but will also give you a chance to hone you specific area of interest – even if you are not fully sure which avenue you want to take before your studies.

Bringing Financial Services

The variety of financial tools and services available today has multiplied dramatically from a generation ago. On both the personal front and in the business sector there has been a dramatic increase in the number of products available, the methods by which they are delivered and the services they require.

The internet is a perfect system for laying out preliminary information in the financial services industry, where product options can get complicated fairly quickly. Businesses of all sizes that are engaged in some portion of this industry are finding that a website makes good business sense.

An enormous amount of financially related business is still done at the local level. Mortgages, auto and home loans and insurance policies are still usually secured from a local agent. The small businessman engaged in providing such products need only think about the amount of time he or she spends on the phone explaining the basics of their services to realize how much time a website could save them.

When a customer calls about auto insurance, think about the ability to refer the caller to your website to learn about the required minimum coverage, about the relationship of the vehicle’s value, about the relationship of personal injury coverage to health insurance.

Think about having a website that explains the four or five home mortgage options that are available, about how they are affected by down payment, credit history and loan amount. Consider the enormous number of variables available in health insurance for both individuals and families, and envision a chart on your own website that explains how those policies work.

That’s only a start on the types of benefits a website can provide to a small businessman or regional company in the financial services business. Your website can provide explanations, charts, even video clips explaining:

  • Retirement planning
  • Medicare insurance options
  • Home loans, including specialties such as tenants-in kind
  • Real estate history and trends in your area
  • Auto insurance, including the effects of driving records and assigned risk
  • Investments – mutual funds or annuities? Stocks or CDs?
  • Estate planning
  • Health insurance – a new policy, or COBRA?

These are a few examples plucked from a vast array of financial services that are out there today. Your website can become your reference library, your consulting tool, and your business partner when it comes to educating your clients. Websites provide multidimensional explanations of material in a far more effective fashion than brochures. No matter how glossy, stacks of paper that use terms only half understood are intimidating to people.

Your website can have an entire dictionary section, so that potential customers can learn terminology at their leisure, rather than ask embarrassing questions. And of course, the fewer questions they have when they pay a call on you, the less time is consumed in moving towards a potential sale.

Use the graphics capability of a website to maximize the attractive nature of your particular company. Take advantage of a personalized business website to explain why your services are better, unique, priced more reasonably, performed more thoroughly. With any complex financial product, you’ll need to explain how your selection of products can meet an entire range of consumer needs. Your website can do that for you.

Financial products can be presented online just as attractively as real estate is today. For every financial product, there is a personal benefit that can be reinforced with images. For products with multiple options and complex purchasing decisions, a website provides a consumer with an invaluable tool that is available 24/7. Your potential customer won’t be sitting across from you, concerned that there’s been a question missed or an issue not fully understood. A website is like an office staff to a financial services professional: there’s no better business for harnessing the efficiency of the new technology.

Mortgage Advice Services

A mortgage is a loan which is used to purchase a property and this type of lending has two main characteristics. Firstly, you will be paying this back over a long period, normally anything around the 25 year mark. Secondly, a mortgage is ‘secured’, which means the bank will use your property as security for the money lent.

If you are unable to make repayments on your house, the bank has the right to repossess your home to pay for the money borrowed. In the unfortunate circumstances where your house may be repossessed, the money that the bank gets from the sale of the house may very well not cover the original amount you borrowed. This is why you should ensure you can afford the property in question.

Mortgages tend to vary immensely and the thought that one is like the next is far from the truth. You should carefully consider your current and future financial situation to best gauge how much to borrow and how you intend to pay it back.

A common mortgage advice question: – An interest only mortgage, or a repayment mortgage?

Interest only mortgages – this type of mortgage repayment, won’t actually pay off any of the money you have borrowed, as its title states you are only paying off the interest. So even after paying a £100K mortgage over 10 years, you will still owe £100K.

With an interest only mortgage, the cost is fairly simple to work out. If you borrowed the £100K mentioned above, at let’s say an interest rate of 7%. Then this will cost you £7000 a year, but you must also take into consideration that you will still owe the original £100K.

Repayment mortgages -this is seen as a much more appealing solution to paying off your mortgage. Your monthly payments will not only cover your interest, but will also pay off some of the money you have borrowed. The repayment mortgage will cost you more money per month but you can be glad that you are slowly paying off the money you owe.

When working out the cost of repayment mortgages, it gets slightly more complicated than the interest only mortgage. You’re repayments are calculated on the overall debt and interest charged to you over the agreed term (e.g. 25 yrs). Now, the first few years, the outstanding debt is larger, so the majority of your repayments go towards paying off the interest. As the years pass, you will gradually reduce the original sum that you borrowed and your interest will drop accordingly.

Financial Service Companies

The Internet provides a wealth of information on companies that offer financial services to their clients. You just need to enter your query on a regular search engine, and you will be flooded with thousands of websites of companies that offer such services. The problem lies in finding the right site to fit your needs. A solution to this problem is to know exactly what you want so that your search can be narrowed down to the companies that offer the services that you want.

One way of narrowing your search is to be specific in your queries. For example, instead of just typing “banking services,” you can type “personal savings account” or “time deposits” instead. For business accounts, you may type “venture capital” instead of just typing generic words like “lending.” For corporate accounts, it may also be helpful just to type in the words “employee compensation and benefits” rather than typing “salaries and wages.”

Some search engines also provide help in deciphering the right information by giving categories of the financial services that are available online; all you have to do is to click on the link that is usually placed on the home page of the search engine. The usual major categories include banking services, insurance, and mortgages. Under these major categories, you will then be able to find relevant sites that can help you with your needs. If you wish to look for banks that may be able to finance a car or a home loan, you just have to look under the category of mortgages. For services that involve running a business, you may find categories like cash flow management and financial planning under the banking services category. These major categories help in narrowing down the choices that you face because they eliminate other websites that would have appeared in your search if you used vague terms.

When you are flooded with information, finding the information that you need is difficult. This is why it is helpful that when using the Internet to search for financial services, you know what kind of service you want and where to look for it. Being more specific and using tools provided search engines are only a few ways at solving this problem.

Defining the Financial Services

Every country that has a banking and finance system needs some sort of entity to regulate it… after all, simply allowing banks and financial companies to run independently without any sort of system of checks and balances would almost certainly lead to corruption and disaster. In the UK , the regulatory entity of the financial system is the Financial Services Authority, or the FSA, and is operated independently of the government in an effort to offer a non-governmental control of the financial industry.

History of the FSA

The Financial Services Authority came into being as a result of the Financial Services and Markets Act of 2000. The first step in the creation of this act was the merger of banking supervision and investment services regulation into an organization known as the Securities and Investment Board, or SIB, in 1997. In October of 1997, the SIB formally changed its name to the Financial Services Authority, and the responsibility for banking supervision was transferred to the FSA from the Bank of England a year later. In May of 2000, the FSA took over the role of the UK listings authority from the London Stock Exchange.

When the Financial Services and Markets Act went into effect in 2001, several other financial services were merged into the FSA and additional responsibilities were granted to the organization (such as the ability to take action to prevent market abuse.) In 2004, the FSA was granted the abilities of mortgage regulation following a decision by the Treasury, and in January of 2005 the FSA took over regulation of the general insurance business to implement the Insurance Mediation Directive.

What the FSA Does

In short, the Financial Services Authority is in charge of monitoring and regulating all of the financial transactions and stock market exchanges within the UK . They also maintain websites that detail how individuals and businesses within the UK can improve their financial capability, as well as upholding the rules of trade in regards to finances and securities when dealing with other countries or political unions. The FSA is also in charge of monitoring securities exchanges within the UK , and taking steps to actively avoid market fraud and illegal trade.

How the FSA Operates

The Financial Services Authority is an open company, limited by guarantee and financed by the financial services industry itself. The FSA is run by the FSA Board, which consists of a Chairman, the Chief Executive Officer, three Managing Directors, and ten Non-Executive Directors, one of whom serves as the Deputy Chairman who is the lead non-executive member. Overall policy is decided upon and set by the Board as a whole, though day-to-day operations and staff management is performed by the CEO.

FSA Board Accountability

The FSA Board is appointed by the Treasury, and though it is not a government agency in and of itself it is accountable for its actions to the government and must report to the Ministers of the Treasury. Because of this, great care is taken in the choosing of new Board members should one retire of leave the Board.