Banking and financial services
The Banking and Financial Services field is large with many opportunities for growth. In order to get into the banking and financial services field, most positions require a Bachelors degree in finance or business related field. Banking and Financial Services professionals can expect to work in an office or banking environment. They typically work Monday to Friday work hours, but may need to work overtime when necessary. They should enjoy working with numbers, have strong analytical skills and excellent communication abilities to work with customers, clients and stakeholders.
Professionals involved in financial services research, plan and lead financial plan activities to invest and manage resources for companies and organisations. They must be able to interpret financial statements and predict future market changes to recommend beneficial investments and manage financial funds. Financial services professionals such as financial managers manage the cash flow for companies and organisations, overseeing the preparation of financial reports and working with investment strategies.
Individuals seeking a career in banking and financial services may gain experience first in customer service positions in banks, lending institutions and credit card companies. They can also work in account services, facilitating account transactions for banks and loan service organisations. They may then move on to sales positions where they can provide information to investors about stocks, bonds and retirement funds and assist customers with mortgage loans. Financial analysts typically work for investment banks, insurance companies, mutual fund organisations, and pension and securities firms. They provide analytical expertise to the company or organisation on investment predictions and strategies. Overall, banking and financial services is a strong and powerful industry to be in.
Careers in Banking and financial services
Auditors and Company Secretaries audit financial records and accounting books for companies and provide other financial analyses. They should be well-organised and thorough in their analyses and reporting.
Bank Managers are responsible for coordinating and directing the operational functions of financial institutions such as banks, building societies or credit unions. They oversee front-office operations, provide high levels of customer service and direct regular team meetings and training sessions.
Bank Workers are responsible for accepting deposits, paying out money, recording transactions, printing receipts, cashing cheques and advising customers about investments, foreign currency exchange and loans. They may work in a variety of financial institutions such as banks, building societies or credit unions.
Branch Managers (Financial Services) are responsible for coordinating and directing the operational functions of financial institutions such as banks, building societies or credit unions. They oversee front-office operations, provide high levels of customer service and direct regular team meetings and training sessions.
Financial Brokers act on behalf of their clients to source loans, organise insurance and arrange other financial market transactions and commodities trading.
Chief Executives and Managing Directors manage the overall policies and direction of organisations under guiding stipulations from the board of directors and other stakeholders. They should have excellent management, analytical and leadership abilities and ensure that organisations operate at optimal levels.
Chief Finance Officers manage and coordinate the overall financial and accounting operations within companies and organisations. They should have excellent management skills and extensive experience with creating and managing budgets and financial resources.
Company Secretaries provide a host of services to business and corporations. They mainly deal with financial issues that are of direct concern to the company, however they must also be savvy about stock exchange rules and regulations as well as any legislation that could affect or cause problems for the company. Company secretaries must deal with many different people while performing their duties.
Credit and Loan Officers can either help people get the credit that they need or tell them that they are too high of a risk to extend them credit. They must analyze credit reports and credit scores after receiving credit and loan applications from potential borrowers. It is essential that they can separate themselves from the potential borrower in order to make a prudent decision for the lender.
Debt Collectors pursue individuals or companies that owe debts or have outstanding accounts with clients. They are hired by the government or companies to identify those in debt to them and to seek out and arrange for payment of debt. Debt Collectors must be persistent and practice determination in locating debtors and ensuring that their clients are paid the full amount owed.
Economists are tasked with analysing complex economical processes through a variety of theoretical and practical lenses. Economists can focus on macroeconomics, or the big picture, and provide advice to large companies and governments, or they can focus on microeconomics and work with individuals and families to give advice on financial planning. Economists may also take a more academic approach and develop and teach theories for other economists to use.
Finance Managers work for organisations, large and small, and are responsible for the functions involving money, including investments, expenses, payroll, and income; they also make decisions regarding acquisitions and mergers. They are ultimately responsible for an organisations financial health, and communicate this through reports, statements, and forecasts; they advise strategies according to the information they gather.
Financial Brokers, or agents, are responsible for assisting clients with their financial needs; for a commission, they research, evaluate and assist with financial opportunities for their clients, and assist them applying for and securing those opportunities. A broker may specialise in a certain area, such as working as a floor broker, an upstairs broker, an insurance broker, or a mortgage broker.
Financial Dealers work with their own portfolio, buying and selling commodities and securities for profit under their own name. They monitor the financial marketplace and use their own capital for transactions. Sometimes dealers are able to offer better prices to investors, however because they stand to profit, their advice is biased.
Investment Advisers and Managers assist clients with their financial goals; they research, evaluate and assist with financial opportunities for their clients. They formulate plans, invest, and manage their clients funds. An adviser or manager may assist clients with insurance, stocks and bonds, loans, and savings.
Investment Advisers research, plan and lead financial plan activities to invest and manage resources for companies and organisations. They should have strong analytical abilities to recommend beneficial investments and manage financial funds.
Loans Officers manage and process applications for loans or credit. They must interpret data and may interview loan applicants to determine eligibility and payment plans.
Finance Managers organise and coordinate financial and accounting activities within larger organisations. They may also oversee and run independent financial organisations.
Managing Directors manage the overall policies and direction of organisations under guiding stipulations from the board of directors, chief executive officers and other stakeholders. They should have excellent management, analytical and leadership abilities and ensure that organisations operate at optimal levels.
Statisticians develop or apply statistical theory and methods to collect, interpret, organise and compile numerical data. This data is then used to solve problems in a specialised field, such as biology, agriculture, business or economics.
Stockbrokers research how companies are doing financially so that they can advise clients as to whether or not they should invest in a particular company. Stockbrokers work for individuals or companies and with other financial dealers. They need to be able to handle stressful situations and have strong communication skills.
Professional associations and industry bodies
Skills and personality
- Ability to comprehend large amounts of information
- Ability to work for long periods of time in an office or customer service environment
- Able to interpret financial information and market circumstances and make sound judgements
- Highly organised to maintain customer/client portfolios and needs
- Knowledge and adherence to regulations and procedures affecting banking and financial services sector
- Problem solving abilities when dealing with funds
- Strong analytical skills to understand financial figures and foresee future trends and advise clients on best options
- Strong communication skills to work well with clients and present situation and options in a clear and cohesive manner
- Strong mathematical capabilities
- Thorough attention to details and numbers