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Career Opportunities & Basics of Retail Banking

Each year there are over lakhs of aspirants who try to be a part of the ever growing banking industry either through various professional courses such as MBA, PG Diploma in Banking or a Bank PO examination.

Sep 30, 2014 11:17 IST
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Each year there are over lakhs of aspirants who try to be a part of the ever growing banking industry either through various professional courses such as MBA, PG Diploma in Banking or a Bank PO examination. Banking has always been one such sector that has caught everyone’s eye, be it rapid change in technology or the number of new banks opening up each year. Banking in India began in the early 1770 with the establishment of Bank of Hindustan, and has seen constant changes since then and has been a source of employment for a large number of people too.

Banks provide a wealth of opportunities for entry-level students, college graduates and experienced professionals. Thus while considering a career in this is sector, it is not only important to understand the sole texture of a banking job but also what you can expect beyond. There are many entry points for a student in the banking industry, which include Retail Banking, Wholesale Banking, Corporate Banking and so on. With maximum opportunities for fresh graduates available in Retail Branch Banking. Let’s try and understand what does Retail Banking & Wholesale Banking mean and how does one get into Retail Banking.

Retail banking in easier terms happens when the bank are in direct touch with the consumer and using any intermediary such as a corporation or any other bank. Retail Banking came into prominence when the banks started to increase their network in a race to acquire more and more customers. For customers it was a boon as they could find good both Mid & large sized banks opening up in their neighborhood and started to offer better deposit rates, extensive customer support and other value add-ons. Retail banking in India focuses on dealing with products such as Consumer Deposits, Loans, Cards, and branching out into Wealth Management & Priority Banking.

In a bank the largest set of people are employed in their Retail banking division. With large parts of India still not accessed by banks Retail Banking is surely going to be one of the fastest growing. Here’s looking at a few entry level roles

  1. Customer Dealing - This involve interacting with customers while they are inside a branch and are looking for some assistance. Two main ingredients of this role includes understanding the nature of query and then prompt resolution of the same. The easiest role that we all may have interacted with once would include that of a Teller. A Teller is responsible largely for all cash transactions inside the branch. These transactions include dealing with actual currency and managing remittances of other nature.
  2. The other important that of a Personal Banker. A personal Banker acts as a face of the bank to a set of few customers allocated to him. He is responsible to understand their requirements, help them with them tools as available with the bank to help them plan financially better. Thus it is important for a Personal Banker to have complete know how of financial products available with the bank and how do they help the end consumer better.

 Back Office: Processing of paper-work, verification, checking of documentation and much more. To be able to fulfill this role one needs to be completely focused with job at hand, else, this may lead to missing of an important input and thus a customer dissonance. This is not a customer facing role but needs higher efficiency and management of work of voluminous nature.

Lucrative & easy as it may sound it is not easy not to become a banker. For starters, banks usually look for good communication and interpersonal skills, ability to deal with customers, an alert nature and basic knowledge of the industry. With bank products constantly being upgraded and addition of newer & evolved customers, it is essential to be patient and understand the need to the customer rather than just pushing in for the plain vanilla business of lending & borrowing.

Therefore, banks are increasingly seeking graduates with some noticeable experience i.e. economic analysis, basic understanding of functioning of a bank, tools used and and understanding of financial trends.

Deepak Lamba, President, TimesPro

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