What is a Career in Banking?

If you’re thinking about getting into a career in Banking and would like to know more, we’ve set out below lots of information on the varied job options available and relevant qualifications.


Main Banking Sectors and Duties Explained


This is “high street” banking, managing bank accounts for members of the public with any level of funds.  These are mainly front office roles including the job titles of Customer Service Advisor, Client Relationship Officer/Manager and Relationship Director. 


These are mainly front office roles, looking after wealthier clients’ personal banking needs.  This sector includes the roles of Relationship Officer, Relationship Manager and Private Banker.  Business travel may be involved to meet clients. 


Looking after clients’ loans, taking applications for lending/mortgages, arranging approval and processing the lending. 

What is OPERATIONS in banking? 

Dealing with back-office banking matters including transferring funds between accounts, dealing with payments in and out, issuing statements and cheque books, general account maintenance and making account amendments, e.g. change of client’s address, change of client details, etc.  This is sometimes called “Bank Administration”. 

What is a TREASURY in banking? 

This is a central area of a bank where all the money which has been collected in accounts (in whatever currency) is logged, then reported to the bank’s dealers who invest that money overnight to make the bank more money.  It is similar to an investment manager or stockbroker role, but in-house for the bank. 


Securities are stocks and shares.  A Securities Department (sometimes also called a Global Custody Department) is the “control” area which deals with all procedures involved in buying and selling stocks and shares.  It includes: 

What are SETTLEMENTS in banking? 

Settling trades worldwide, i.e. paying for them - this involves liaising with brokers, ensuring the payment for each trade is collected and arrives at its destination. 

What are CORPORATE ACTIONS in banking? 

Dealing with the actions of companies regarding their shares, including dividends (payments to owners of shares when the company makes a profit) and rights issues (issue of further shares to owners), ensuring dividends are collected where necessary and paid to the relevant accounts.  It covers anything a company might do regarding its shares. 

What are INVESTIGATIONS in banking? 

Investigating why worldwide deals don’t get settled (paid) for whatever reason. 

What is GLOBAL CUSTODY in banking? 

Maintaining records of where in the world Share and Stock Certificates are held. 

Large banking groups may also have:


This is stockbroking - managing clients’ investments and having a strong knowledge of the stock market. 

What are the Promotion Prospects for a Banker?

Employees can work their way up through various banking roles, starting out in junior roles in customer service or banking operations, moving up into front or back office banking roles at officer level, then being promoted into the role of client relationship, operations or investment manager.  Those that desire a management position can reach the bank position of branch manager, regional manager or even director.

Banking Qualifications

To advise clients on their banking issues and to give them any investment advice, banking staff must be “Level 4 RDR” qualified, e.g. the CISI Level 4 Diploma in Investment Advice.  This involves taking several banking/investment exams.  At senior level, e.g. Private Banker, staff must be Level 6 RDR qualified. 

Relevant qualifications are available through the following organisations:

  • Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment – www.cisi.org
  • London Institute of Banking & Finance Qualifications (formerly the IFS School of Finance and prior to that the Chartered Institute of Bankers) - www.libf.ac.uk 
  • Chartered Banker Institute – www.charteredbanker.com


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