Understanding Banking and Finance Careers
Careers in banking are both lucrative and rewarding, but at the same time are varied and diverse. Before choosing a career in finance, one should take a step back and consider which type of position would suit the individual. For example, should one apply for a career in retail banking or try for a more lucrative position within a multinational corporate bank? The final decision is an important one. Therefore, we hope this brief yet informative guide will help you find your way.
Retail banking represents the branch networks of High Street banks. The entry-level career in this type of banking is the counter teller whose job it is to deliver service with a smile to visiting members of the public. Duties mostly involve routine deposits and withdrawals of funds from personal and business bank accounts, but can include basic advice on various financial products. The qualifications required for this type of position are at least a secondary education and some form of customer service and cash handling experience. Other retail banking positions include personal managers and business managers, usually promoted from the counter staff, whose job it is to open new bank accounts, issue loans and offer advice about financial products including insurance and mortgages. Lastly, we have the bank manager who oversees the branch and its activities. Retail banking jobs do not require university qualifications and so thus are a perfect career choice for less academic individuals.
Investment banking covers far more specialized financial services, looking after the needs of commercial, industrial and governmental clients. Careers in this field include investment bankers, stockbrokers and financial analysts. Duties consist of the setting up and management of corporate loans, the handling of company acquisitions and mergers and the day to day trading of stocks and shares. To qualify for an investment banking career, one has to boast excellent written and verbal interpersonal skills and have a good academic track record, i.e. A levels, with at least one degree in any subject. Graduate training courses and internships are available, but are in short supply, meaning competition for places is tight. A wise move for those wishing fast-track to high-end finance jobs would be to study for a degree in a related field, such as accountancy, economics or financial planning, and use such a qualification to move into a relevant finance banking career.
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