Since most studies of the financial services industry have viewed the structure of the industry as fixed, there has been little discussion of its determinants. Events of the past few years make it clear that the structure of the financial services industry is changing much more rapidly than it did between the end of World War II and the mid 1960's. This paper categorizes and discusses the major factors affecting the structure of the financial services industry. The concept of supply and demand provides a useful framework for categorizing these factors. Demand is best analyzed in terms of the demand for various characteristics or attributes of financial services. These include: 1) yield; 2) liquidity; 3) safety; 4) convenience of access to the services, 5) financial advice or information. The demand for these various characteristics or attributes depends importantly on demographic and economic factors Copyright 1983 Western Economic Association International.
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