Careers and Employability Service

I want to work in Banking

Job roles

Job Roles

There are many different roles within banking, which are not always clear-cut. Although banking can be broadly divided into “retail banking” and “investment banking”, there are also specialist areas such as  investment management, wealth management and risk.  These may be functions within a large banking group or may be carried out in an organisation that specialises in a particular area. The rise of financial technology (Fintech) is also shaping banking.

Retail Banking
Retail bankers work in “high street” banks and building societies and also for online banks and other providers of banking and financial services. They assist individuals and small businesses with financial services ranging from loans and mortgages to savings and investments.


Investment Banking
Investment banking relates primarily to raising capital for companies and other organisations, the provision of mergers and acquisition advice or advice on specific issues such as raising loans or stock exchange flotations.


Wealth management
Wealth management (also known as private banking) is usually understood as investment management on a personal level: providing investment management services, financial advice and planning to individual, high-net-worth clients. These clients can range from business leaders to musicians and sportspeople.

Getting your first job financial services is a difficult business; the success rate is often less than 1%. Efinancialcareers How to get into banking when there are 100+ students chasing each job (2018)


Gaining experience
First year insight schemes are often available in the financial sector. Applications need to be made in the first term of your first year and the insight week tends to take place in April. For more information see Rate My Placement Guide to Insight Schemes.

Summer internship programmes usually run for 8-10 weeks, from July to September. They are open to penultimate year undergraduates and to postgraduate students. It is just as hard to get an internship as it is to get onto a graduate scheme, so make sure you research the employer and take time and care over your application.
Deadlines for all these programmes can be as early as November, so start planning in good time.

Retail Banking

Retail bankers work in “high street” banks and building societies and also for online banks and other providers of banking and financial services. They assist individuals and small businesses with financial services ranging from loans and mortgages to savings and investments.

Investment Banking 

Investment banking relates primarily to raising capital for companies and other organisations, the provision of mergers and acquisition advice or advice on specific issues such as raising loans or stock exchange flotations.
Job roles in investment banking tend to be divided into front office (such as mergers and acquisitions (M&A), sales and trading, research, debt capital markets and equity capital markets), middle office (advising and monitoring the front office, such as compliance, risk and technology) and back office (operations). 
Job profile of an investment banker from the Prospects website
Job profile of an investment banker from the TARGET Jobs website
Inside Careers: Banking and Investments
Wikijob: Investment Banking

Work Experience in Investment Banking

The vast majority of successful applicants to banking and investment graduate schemes have previously completed a relevant internship – mainly at the same institution. Typically 50% to 70% of graduate hires in banking and investment have worked for that organisation as an intern. In some cases the figure is even higher: 90% or above. (TARGET Jobs)
Almost no one secures a graduate scheme at a top bank without work experience in the finance industry. The banks want applicants with intern experience to prove the candidate is passionate about finance, and has evidence they can work in that environment. Banks will often select the best interns to be fast tracked to the graduate scheme – J.P. Morgan exclusively hires its grads from its interns (Bright Network)
In 2018, investment banks offered over 1900 internships and work placements. (High Fliers Research Report). In addition, many banks also run Spring Weeks and/or Insight Days to give first-year students a taste of the industry.

Investment Management and Wealth Management

Wealth management (also known as private banking) is usually understood as investment management on a personal level: providing investment management services, financial advice and planning to individual, high-net-worth clients. Private banks will offer advice to the client or manage portfolios on the clients behalf. Graduate schemes tend to be in the areas of advice, relationship and support. Wealth managers may work in a small business or as part of a larger firm Money needs to be a key motivation to enjoy a career in this field. Strong analytical skills and a portfolio of experience are critical.

For more information see

Target Jobs Guide to wealth management

Target Jobs Guide to financial planning

Bright Network Guide to wealth management

 

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The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7ND, T: +44 (0)1227 764000 ext. 3299

Last Updated: 24/05/2022