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Jobs in finance: why work in banking and finance?

13 October, 2022Juno Baker
Banking Qualifications

Have you recently graduated or just left school? Perhaps you’re thinking about what to study at university? Whatever stage you’re at, if you like a challenge, working in a team and solving problems, a career in finance could be for you.

Modern banking isn't what you might imagine.

It’s not about pen-pushing, ledgers or dusty old suits any more. Banking and finance is an important global sector offering fantastic opportunities to specialise and progress.

Jobs in finance vary hugely and so do the people who work in the financial services sector – from techies to creatives and people with great soft skills. 

Customer services roles

If you’re a people person, you’ll find lots of roles that could suit you – from retail banking to relationship management.

Speaking at one of our REACH events, Jagdeep Rai, Regional Director at HSBC, told us she believes she has “the best job in the world”.

“You get to meet so many different kinds of people from all different walks of life, all kinds of customers, all kinds of businesses – from your farmer up in East Anglia to your high tech company.”

Jackson Li, is a Customer Services Representative at Monzo. He says “I love the variety! I encounter many different queries from customers, all of which require different approaches for resolving the issue at hand.”

Fintech and digital banking

Fintech companies like Moss, Bippit and Urban Jungle appear in the top ten of start-ups to work for in 2023. And, thanks to digital banking and finance, the whole industry is changing at a tremendous pace. New markets will be discovered for services that have yet to be designed.

But fintechs aren’t the only finance firms hiring people with digital banking skills. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the digitisation of banking and finance and that trend will continue. 

Luke Barry was working in Corporate Cards at Lloyds when he told us the best thing about working in fintech is the "wow moments". Describing his career, he said, "What a great area to work in, where you can make people go “Wow! I didn’t know that existed!”

See relevant courses on the Centre for Digital Banking and Finance microsite

Sustainable finance

Banking and sustainable finance also play a vital role in tackling climate change and helping the world adapt to its consequences. Investment banks are critical to reaching net zero, especially in the creation of green bonds.

Over the years to come, there’ll be more opportunities for graduates who are looking for careers in environmental, social and governance (ESG), such as:

  • business development professionals
  • analysts
  • scientists
  • portfolio manager
  • investor relations specialists and more.
See how financial companies are doing their bit to tackle climate change on our Centre for Sustainable Finance microsite

Analytical and problem solving roles

Paraplanners work with financial advisers. They analyse and assess information gathered from the client and discuss possible solutions with the adviser before preparing recommendations. This is a technical role and an increasingly important part of financial services. If you’re detail focused, methodical, analytical and love research, you might enjoy a career in paraplanning.

If you're looking for more of a people-facing role, then why not consider a career in risk management? Traditionally a bank risk officer assessed loans but today risks are more complex and varied. You’re unlikely to be stuck at a desk as this role involves visits to businesses, clients and others.

Paul Howard worked in Risk for more than 30 years. “You have got to have a lot of energy, to be relentless, consistent and principled. Engaging with the business to support their aspirations safely can be a fine balance.”

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