Banking Industry Guide

Do you always ask to be the banker when you play Monopoly? Is a piggy bank still your favourite possession? Then maybe you should look for a career within the banking and finance industry.

What do people actually mean when they say “I work in finance”? Does it simply mean they bring home a big fat pay cheque?

Well, a career in banking or finance can certainly help to set you up with a larger pay packet, but that doesn’t really explain what people working in the industry actually do.

It is a fast-paced career that requires dedication and hard work but, as we’ve said, this effort is generously rewarded. Finance is a broad term covering anything from investment to retail banking, but fundamentally it all boils down to providing a financial service to a client.

Did you know that in 2010 the main UK banks had a value of £6,240 billion, which accounted for a colossal 450% of GDP?

Investment banking companies and operations

Investment banks such as Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs work with clients who have complicated financial requirements, including governments, charities, private firms and even wealthy individuals.

For instance, a big firm may ask for help to buy another company. The investment bank would then use its specialist knowledge to provide impartial advice, in the same way as a solicitor would in the legal industry.

Retail banking companies and services

There are many opportunities for school leavers within retail banking. What are retail banks? These are the high street banks you may have seen out and about on your most recent shopping trip.

Banks like Santander, Barclays or RBS help customers manage their money effectively, by advising them where best to keep or save their money.

An apprenticeship or school leaver scheme in retail banking could involve working as a cashier, a customer service representative, an investment administrator or an insurance clerk, or you could study an advanced apprenticeship in financial advisory, which revolves around advising customers on how best to manage their money. It’s up to you!

Corporate banking companies and financial products

Corporate banking is a financial service offered to businesses. Many banks that offer these services are also well known retail banks, including Barclays, HSBC and RBS.

Corporate Banking could involve working with loans, cash management or basic investment products, mainly dealing with corporations or businesses as opposed to individual members of the public.

Examples of banking apprenticeships and school leaver schemes

Santander – apprenticeships in customer service and providing financial services

Barclays – level 2 apprenticeship in providing financial services

RBS – level 2 apprenticeships in business, administration and personal finance, level 3 apprenticeships in business, administration and professional banking

Find out what working in the banking and finance industry is really like

Read reviews of banking and finance apprenticeships and school leaver programmes

Which banks or financial institutions could you work for?

Click here to see our recommended banking and finance employers

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