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Banking - Career Overview

Broadly speaking, banking is the business of dealing with money. This could mean keeping it for savings and debit accounts, or it could relate to the issue of loans or credit.

There are many employers and careers within banking, however it is possible to break it down into three broad areas: retail, investment and private.

Retail banking is the sector covered by high street banks, who look after individuals and small companies in their financial requirements.

Investment banking is the part of the financial sector that services large companies, governments and other big institutions in their monetary needs.

Private banking relates to those specialist institutions who offer services to rich, or high-net worth, individuals.

The sector is fast-paced and demanding, can require long working hours and can be quite stressful. The current economic climate has hit the banking industry hard both in terms of job losses and reputation amongst the public.

However, it is a prestigious sector to work in that is hard to get into, and the financial rewards here can often be great.


How to get into banking

A lot of people working in this sector enter it through graduate recruitment schemes.

There are opportunities with some banks to join a fast-track scheme with good A-Level grades, a HND or a degree result of less than a 2:1, or it is possible to join a bank as a customer adviser and work your way up.

These training schemes will see candidates trained in the systems used by their banks, and will receive the professional training they need, often gaining professional qualifications as time goes on.


Qualifications and experience

There isn’t a specific subject requirement to have been studied for graduate recruitment schemes, but banks will often look for a degree result of a 2:1 or above.


Salary expectations

The average salary in banking is £50,000. Graduate starting salaries are high, with an average of £27,000. The heights that a banking salary can reach are high indeed, with annual pay and very generous bonuses potentially reaching the six-figure mark and beyond.


Useful websites

British Bankers' Association, Pinners Hall, 105-108 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1EX. 020 7216 8800. Website:

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), 42-48 High Road, South Woodford, London E18 2JP. 020 8989 8464. Website:

eFinancial Careers. Website:

Financial Services Skills Council, 51 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HQ. 0845 257 3772. Website:

ifs School of Finance, ifs House, 4-9 Burgate Lane, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2XJ. 01227 818609. Website:



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