The Banking stream covers a broad spectrum of careers, requiring different skill sets and qualifications. What makes this field desirable is that it offers job stability, good salaries, and great benefits.
This field includes practical roles like Investment Advisor, Bank Teller, Credit Analyst, Loan Officer, Bank Manager, among others. Careers in Banking are all about numbers, statistics, balances, and figures; therefore, having financial, accounting, business, and math skills is a must. It is also important to consider that all these positions involve dealing with clients on a daily basis, which is an aspect that allows practitioners to engage and better understand their community. Similarly, even though it is a technical field, having people’s skills is an asset that will enable aspirants to deal with different kinds of situations in a calm and polite manner.
There is an array of opportunities available for starting a Banking career, especially since entry-level jobs, such as the Bank Teller position, require little to no qualification.
Banking professions could be divided into two groups: managerial roles and entry-level jobs. Managers in the field are usually responsible for the following:
- Monitoring the marketplace and industry trends, as well as their conditions.
- Recruiting, training, mentoring, supervising, and disciplining employees.
- Overseeing budgets and employees’ performance.
- Developing and reviewing tactical and operational plans, procedures, and systems, in compliance with the institution’s strategic and financial goals, policies, procedures, budgets, deadlines, and other related requirements.
- Meeting with customers to solve issues or complaints and monitoring their feedback.
- Ensuring necessary due diligence to support the accuracy of all clients’ activities and maintaining high ethical standards.
- Conducting research on customers’ financial background; communicating with colleagues of other branch offices, as well as with other financial institutions to request details on clients’ creditworthiness.
- Overseeing their clients’ financial development.
- Studying strategies to always improve their clients’ financial profits or to adapt to clients’ economic needs.
- Carrying out the purchase or sale of banking products (e.g. credit lines, loans, and accounts).
- Keeping detailed computerized records.
On the other hand, most of the entry-level positions have the following responsibilities:
- Providing guidance, support, and transactional services to customers, sometimes interviewing them on their financial profile and background.
- Advertising bank services, especially those that can bring benefits to clients with specific conditions and requirements.
- Responding to customers’ complaints regarding financial products and the status of their transactions; and answering inquiries about services.
- Collecting and classifying data and information, filing and organizing paper and electronic documents, and performing data entry and database maintenance, as required.
- Maintaining detailed up-to-date records on transactions executed daily.
- Drafting letters and emails to customers, such as payment reminders, account updates, and warning for actions against payment default.
All professionals working in the Banking field usually share the same characteristics, which include, but are not limited to:
- Having outstanding mathematical skills.
- Being organized, analytical, and having great problem-solving skills.
- Being great at multitasking and prioritizing. Easily and efficiently managing a high volume, diverse workload.
- Being able to learn and adapt quickly, while facing continuously changing demands.
- Being able to communicate clearly, both in writing and verbally, in order to give detailed instructions, information, or assistance to employees and/or customers.
- Having a friendly and engaging personality in order to foster and maintain positive relationships.
- Displaying strong customer service skills, anticipating needs and handling requests in a proactive and efficient way.
- Having a strong attention to detail and high levels of thoroughness in order to ensure standard specifications are met.
- Being extremely resourceful, responsive, and flexible; being able to identify issues and resolve problems in a timely manner.
- Having excellent administrative and computer skills, being highly proficient in computer word processing, spreadsheet, database, and banking applications.
- Being discreet and trustworthy when handling confidential information.
In order to perform an entry-level position, such as Bank Tellers, one must achieve a high school diploma. In the case of executive roles, it is required to have completed a bachelor’s degree in Finance, Administration, or Accounting; however, each position requires a very specific set of skills that can be acquired through specific courses on mortgages, financial planning, escrows, titles, lending best practices, loans and credits regulations and policies, among others.
In the United States, some positions may require applicants to have successfully passed licensing exams in order to be acknowledged members of numerous national and state regulatory bodies. Additionally, certifications, although not always required, will improve aspirants’ profiles by proving their knowledge and experience, as well as having a reliable institution standing behind them. Having experience in Sales, client-facing, or relationship-focused roles is also a definite asset.