Investment Banking – This route offers the opportunity for substantial financial rewards – we have all heard about the big city bonuses that are earned by global investment banking employees who trade in a range of currencies, commodities, shares, bonds, equities and complex financial instruments. It is a very competitive industry to gain entry due to the financial rewards on offer. To gain entry you will need to be a graduate with an excellent degree, very good with numbers and have an analytic nature. You will be willing to work long hours at times under significant pressure as well as to take on responsibility at an early stage and have excellent communication when dealing with clients. Networking and an ability to speak one or more foreign languages is also highly recommended to increase your chance of gaining entry to the investment banking industry.
Retail Banking – There has been significant growth in this area due to the new entrants to the market such as the supermarkets. The industry is strongly customer focused and therefore excellent communication and inter personal skills are essential. Managerial opportunities exist for the right individuals as well as the options to specialise in areas such as credit risk, products and market analysis and ICT (especially with the growth of internet, telephone and mobile banking).
Corporate Treasury Banking – Cash flow management is one the most important factors in ensuring the success of a company. Without adequate cash a company will not be able to trade properly if at all. For example if a company doesn’t have sufficient monies to pay staff salaries then it will soon find itself with no staff to run the business. Treasury banking therefore deals with the funding, liquidity and risk of a business to ensure it can continue to successfully trade. This involves managing currency and interest rates risks on a daily basis, for example forward buying or selling a certain currency to lessen the risk in debtor and creditor transactions.
The job requires an individual to be capable of understanding complex transactions and be able to react quickly to daily market changes that may affect the risk profile of a company’s liquidity position. Professional qualification membership can be obtained from qualifications through the Association of Corporate Treasurers.
Major employers in the different banking areas include: Barclay’s bank and Barclay’s capital, Baillie Gifford, Capital IQ, Commerzbank, JP Morgan, Schroder’s, Shell International as well as the high-street banks and major plc.’s.