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Work in banking and finance

Written by Amine

Understanding Banking and Finance Careers

A career in banking is lucrative and rewarding, but also varied and diverse. Before deciding on a career in finance, you should take a step back and consider what type of position would suit the individual. For example, should one apply for a career in retail banking or pursue a more lucrative position in a multinational corporate bank? The final decision is important. So we hope this brief but informative guide will help you find your way.

Retail banking

Retail banking is represented by a network of High Street bank branches. The basic career in this type of banking is a teller, whose job it is to provide service with a smile to visiting members of the public. Duties usually include routine deposits and withdrawals of funds from personal and business bank accounts, but may include basic advice on various financial products. The qualifications required for this type of position are a minimum of a high school education and some form of customer service and cash handling experience. Other positions in retail banking include personal managers and sales managers, usually promoted from the counters, whose role it is to open new bank accounts, make loans and offer advice on 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 a university degree, making them a perfect career choice for less academic individuals.

Investment banking

Investment banking covers much more specialized financial services and caters to the needs of commercial, industrial and government clients. Careers in this field include investment bankers, stockbrokers and financial analysts. Responsibilities include origination and management of corporate loans, handling corporate acquisitions and mergers, and day-to-day trading of stocks and shares. To qualify for a career in investment banking, you must have excellent written and verbal interpersonal skills and have good academic results, i.e. A-levels with at least one degree in any subject. Graduate courses and internships are available but in short supply, meaning competition for places is tight. A wise move for those wishing to fast track to top finance positions would be to study for a degree in a related field such as accountancy, economics or financial planning and use such qualifications to transition into a relevant financial banking career.

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