While banking is a process of pooling together the resources of individuals and companies, making loans and procuring investments, the job description for bankers is varied. Typically, a banking career begins in retail. The retail banker will help customers set up checking or savings accounts for individuals or businesses, provide financial advice and services, and assist with the movement of money through payment mechanisms.
A junior banker in retail deals with customers face to face, over the phone or in writing. They serve customers at the counter, process the paperwork from sales and handle changes in customer details such as closures of accounts or accounts that the customer originally set up. It is the responsibility of the junior banker to understand customer needs, become aware of all new products, services and processes and make suggestions concerning these new products and services to customers who may find them appropriate for their purposes.
A Career Progression
A qualified junior banker may go into branch management. The manager works within a team that includes recruiting and coaching other members. The manager handles customer complaints that cannot be resolved at the front desk, and implements the new products and services introduced by the head office. The manager is also responsible for opening and closing the bank on a daily basis, ensures that the sales targets and managing budgets are met and that the premises are fit to do business.
Junior bankers may also become loan officers. For many loan officer positions, there are no formal educational requirements beyond a high school diploma and on the job training. However, for a commercial or corporate loan officer, you will need a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, or a related field.
Consumer loan officers work with customers who wish to take out simple loans, such as for automobiles, tuition and home improvement. The underwriting for these loans is simple, but the loan officer will have to guide the customer through the application and borrowing process.
Expansion Requires Greater Knowledge
Commercial loan officers make loans to businesses planning to expand, buy new equipment or for other general purposes. Each business is different, with many involved with complex financial systems. For this reason, the underwriting for businesses is almost never automated, requiring expertise in finance for assisting with commercial loans. Investment banking requires specialized financial knowledge that can only be acquired through a degree program.
The primary function of the investment banker is to connect businesses in need of financing to investors willing to help finance, through stocks and bonds. They also assist companies that are interested in becoming acquired or would like to purchase or merge with another company.
Investment bankers spend a great deal of time consulting with their clients in person or on the phone. They advise their clients on the best ways to structure a deal, make a careful analysis of the potential losses and gains, and develop detailed agreements between the companies involved in the transaction. Other duties include conducting research for businesses, maintaining data in spreadsheets and creating reports.
Private banking is a subset of retail banking and deals with high profile customers, usually defined as those with a million dollars or more to invest. There are now numerous opportunities to work for online banks and supermarkets that offer banking services. The career is promising, and the time to act is now!