There are lucrative opportunities in the banking profession, often thought off as where the money is. Many jobs can be found in the frontline or head office, and within these areas, there are varied career options.
In general, banks divide products and services into separate business units. Each business unit represents a different type of business and the different people needed to work within it.
Retail Banking looks after transaction accounts, credit cards, term deposits, mortgages, and loans for individuals and business customers.
Institutional Banking, also known as corporate banking, advises corporate and institutional customers about raising money, stock market, managing cash, investment, buying and selling businesses, and so on.
Wealth Management is the investing arm of a bank and usually consists of insurance, asset accumulation, and all types of investing including share trading and managed funds.
A bank is a business, and needs staff for areas such as finance, marketing, IT, sales and human resources. To look at banking job opportunities is to do so in terms of what people do and where they work: head office, frontline, and overseas opportunities.
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All the decisions of the bank are made at the ‘head office’ (HO). This is the place where senior management and support units such as marketing, finance, IT and human resources are found. Building societies, credit unions and mortgage lenders also have these jobs even if they are much smaller than banks.
Senior management roles include Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Directors for Finance and Risk, Corporate Development, and Performance Accountability. Other senior positions include the areas of research and statistics, monetary policy and resources management.
Areas of career or job opportunities in the head office:
Marketing and Communications. This is an area in banking that is growing in importance and usually includes strategy, product development, advertising and public relations.
Human Resources. This area deals with the recruitment, job interviews, training, retention, development and management of a financial institution’s staff.
Information Technology (IT). The IT department has to be innovative in applying new technologies for the banking and financial institutions to meet the needs of the business. IT department looks after online banking, websites, and systems which a banking organization needs. One most important responsibility of IT area is to ensure that the security of online banking safeguards the money and identity of customers.
This area is all about customer service. Frontline people include tellers (also called customer service officers), lending officers, call centre staff, mortgage brokers and branch managers.
Banking skills are transferable around the globe and many financial institutions offer opportunities for staff to travel overseas. Usually, big banks have offices around the world.
Another trend for the banks and financial institutions is to send staff on study trips overseas to learn about how businesses are conducted elsewhere. Any banking employee sent on this study grant will have a proven commitment and achieve a level of competence in their job.
Banking jobs are diverse and include both management positions and customer service. Jobs in the financial sector offer the opportunity for movement and advancement between branches and departments, as well as overseas, if opportunity arises. It’s not unheard of for a person to start out in a customer service position and end up as the manager or even CEO of a bank.
Customer Service Supervisor
Head, Personal Financial Services
Head, Investment Strategy
e-Commerce Team Coordinator
Lending Team Leader
Customer Loyalty and Value Manager
Manager, Human Resource
General Manager, Credit Union
Manager, Business Support
Manager, Mobile Lending
Manager, Regional Sales
General Manager, Marketing
A potential banking employee does not only work hard but is able to cope in a constantly changing environment. They are usually rewarded with a higher salary and rapid internal career progression. Large banks and financial institutions are more competitive in salaries than smaller organizations, except with sales people whose salaries are linked to their targets and commissions.