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.
A leading UK recruitment agency in the IT jobs sector has released data from their Q1 2009 records which indicates a strong resilience in the financial and banking sectors regarding their Information Technology recruiting power.
The recruitment agency in question is well placed to provide a litmus test for the UK IT jobs industry having nationwide coverage and a wealth of experience in sourcing and placing vacancies and candidates in the IT sector. The strength of these sectors spans both temporary/contractual positions as well as permanent vacancies. The figures used are all based on actual client requirements that were received over the given period; as such they show national averages and consequently do not reflect specific regional differences.
Contractual positions: 1. Finance; 2. Banking; 3. Investment Banking; 4. Government; 5. Telecoms.
Permanent positions: 1. Finance; 2. Banking; 3. Pensions; 4. Telecoms; 5. E-Commerce.
Given the well documented problems in these sectors in the second half of 2008 and the mixed results coming from the large financial institutions in 2009 so far, it is encouraging to note that these major players in IT recruitment are still topping the list for demand for IT talent. This helps to show the resilience of the IT sector, especially in organisations such as those in banking and finance which heavily rely on high tech systems and computerised data collection and distribution.
Although in the back end of 2008 there were numerous redundancies across all job and industry sectors, including IT, the strength and importance of IT workers is borne out by the strong showing from these sectors which were most badly hit in the UK recession. Highly skilled technical staff in the demanding fields of IT programming, analytics and system architecture will always be in demand and are still able to command excellent salaries. Forming the lynchpins of virtually innumerable financial related institutions, the IT systems experts are finding that their skills are once again becoming increasingly in demand as the large organisations start to plan for the upturn that can be expected in the wider economy over the coming months.
There may be more of a tendency in the short term for some companies to favour offering shorter term contracts, but as the economy stabilises and begins to show signs of growth we can expect to see a slight shift towards long-term and permanent contracts being offered to the most skilled IT staff, because the need for such professionals will be increasing all the time and companies will be keen to hold onto the top talent.
Indeed some companies may already be rueing releasing IT workers last year only to find that they are now urgently in need of the very same skills even now as the first signs of recovery are being felt.
The agency continues to closely the monitor the entire IT sector and as the year progresses will be making further informed observations about the UK IT jobs sector. On this evidence, the IT industry certainly remains a strong career path for relative stability and demand for skills.
In the first Quarter of 2010, the number of jobs available in the Swiss financial sector was around a total of 3,508 jobs. This is an increase of 19 percent over the same quarter in 2009. From the latest report by Finance & Operational Recruitment (FOR) the number of job vacancies in the Swiss financial sector has increased since the summer of 2009 by 35 percent.
Based upon a total of 1,400 banks, insurance companies, accountants and other consultants currently there are 3’508 finance jobs are advertised. That is 35 percent more than in June 2009.
Across the banking sector banks in Switzerland had a total of 1,457 jobs at the end of March 2010. This is 110 percent more than in June 2009.
In Insurance we have seen a slight decline. Across the insurance industry, including health insurance, in the summer of 2009 there was 1,086 open insurance jobs. At the end of March 2010 this had declined to 1,016. This represents a decline of -6.4 percent.
Across the other financial sectors & support industries (Accounting, consulting, IT, etc.) jobs have increased from 819 to 1,035 (+26.4 percent).
The main reasons for this development, is the banks are replacing staff originally cut when they had to reduce costs – during the previous 2 years. For many insurance companies, cost cutting is ongoing. In addition, increased regulatory pressure meant additional experts were necessary.
The report used an index which shows the evolution of online Switzerland job vacancies in the financial sector in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The index is produced every three months by the Swiss financial portal finews.ch with data of the portal JobDirectory.ch.
Switzerland Banking Jobs in focus:
Most banking jobs were offered in late March 2010, Credit Suisse, with 395 jobs, followed by UBS with 336. While at Credit Suisse, the demand last year grew more constant and rose sharply from 2010, at UBS as early as October 2009, there was a significant increase which lasted up to February 2010.
Foreign banks are recruiting
Coupled with this the Foreign Banks in Switzerland are recruiting for banking jobs. This increase reflects recruitment having a high turnover, but also the fact that many institutions consider the adjustment in the private banking as an opportunity to recruit good people.
Swiss Banking looking to the customer:
Almost two-thirds of all vacant banking jobs in Switzerland are for specialists and executives. Only ten percent of the jobs are for employees on the level of clerk or assistant.
The greatest demand for workers is at the customer front. The most common available banking job is for Account Managers in the retail and SME business, followed by Investment advisers in the so-called affluent area (average retail segment).
In relative terms, the number of classical Private Banker -which to serve wealthy clients has grown the most. Since summer 2009, the number of private banking jobs presented has increased from 19 to 45, representing an increase of 140 percent.
Overall – good recruitment growth:
In the first Quarter of 2010, the number of jobs available in the Swiss financial sector was around a total of 3’508 jobs. This is an increase of 19 percent over the same quarter in 2009.
Micro Finance Banking is extension of standard banking facilities to those doing small scale businesses, those living in poverty and those inhabiting rural areas without demanding collateral.
In finance, collateral placement is a visible barrier inhibiting people from accessing funds from concerned institutions. This hinders the enterprising exploits of those living at poverty levels and small scale business people who in most cases do not have properties that can stand as collateral.
Micro Financing is the only available option for individuals at such level to kick start their business ideas.
It sounds out of place for the average financially educated to extend loans without collateral but for those at the bottom of the pyramid, the poor and semi poor, it is sine qua non. Grading their credit ratings and abilities will never be a herculean task as most of them live in the same community and are totally accessible. Most often, the women who form the fulcrum of the communities are best channels of fund distribution.
These people who obtained such small loans are eager to implement their business ideas and maintain their source of funding as there are lesser options available to them. In most cases, the loans demanded by these people are small in nature, thus they can easily repay its interest payments and that of the capital.
For individuals and institutions offering such services, it will be an added advantage if more education and counseling is offered to their respective clients to improve and fortify their financial knowledge.
Micro credits facilities aimed at empowering the poor especially the women and those domiciled in rural areas is pivotal to creation of small scale industries thereby jump-starting the economy while pulling the machinery of industrialization. When those living at poverty level are empowered, poverty is alleviated if not eradicated.
Those involved in provision of these brand of services do not operate like or compete with conventional banks. This is solely because they are totally at variance in their aim, objectives and modus oparandi.