PintOfGuinness If I install Google onto the "banking" profile, Google Play Services are not accessible to the other profiles, correct?
Apps usually communicate via inter-process communication, IPC. IPC isn't possible across profiles. Technically, it's possible to communicate using network permissions, but that's not likely.
PintOfGuinness I understand that the notification forwarding feature will send notifications from other profiles, to the currently active profile. Say a banking app delivers its notifications via Google Play Services. If notification forwarding is enabled, will the notification be accessible even if the currently active profile does not have Google Play Services installed?
Yes. Effectively what happens is the system delivers the real notification to the corresponding profile from the corresponding app, then sends a different notification to the active profile from "system". The forwarded notification will have less information though. If I remember correctly, it just has the originating profile name and the originating app name. No other information is forwarded.
PintOfGuinness If I install my VPN app on my "secure" profile, and establish a VPN connection, does that connection persist if I change to another profile?
Yes. As long as that profile is active, it'll maintain and send traffic over that VPN connection.
PintOfGuinness How well do mobile security / antivirus apps, such as Bitdefender Mobile Security, function when multiple profiles exist? If each profile's apps are isolated from the other profiles, does that, in this example, require 3 separate installations of Bitdefender?
Just like kopolee11 said, antivirus apps aren't really necessary on Android due to the differences between how desktop OSes and Android work.