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Career story: progressing a career in commercial banking

22 November, 2021Ranny Wei

Ranny Wei is an Army Reservist and a commercial banker at HSBC UK. He tells us why he loves his job and shares his experience of completing our Professional Diploma in Banking & Finance (PDipB&F).

Ranny Wei at HSBC UKNo two days are the same. That’s the excitement which makes commercial banking fun and meaningful.

I’ve been in client-facing roles throughout my career at HSBC, always with large businesses who have a breadth of banking needs. The interaction and feedback makes all the work behind a desk worthwhile.

Every action has an outcome and it genuinely feels like we are adding value for our customers. No matter how big or small, there’s always a sense of achievement.

What brought you into commercial banking?

My dream job was to serve in the British Army and travel the world for operations, surrounded by motivated teams and guided by shared values. But as we say, no plan survives first contact!

I’d attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst during some time out whilst I was reading Law at the London School of Economics (LSE). When I graduated from uni, HSBC was growing its corporate coverage and needed all levels of frontline staff for a new team.

I was offered the incredible opportunity to learn about commercial banking in a client-facing role – client interaction being the most rewarding aspect, for sure.

Why do the PDipB&F?

I instantly fell in love with frontline relationship banking and aspired to be like all the inspirational relationship directors around me. 

It was clear this type of work needed passion first and foremost, as well as experience and technical expertise. The latter was the engaging, albeit steep, learning curve, and PDipB&F is the perfect accreditation to reinforce the professional development.

How have you found studying?

I really appreciated the accessibility of all the course materials online. That helped massively with fitting it around the busy day job.

I actively encourage my peers to block out time – even if it’s just an hour a week – during working hours to focus on personal development. But guiltily, I’ve probably deleted that diary holder more times than actually used it!

The biggest challenge for me was when I returned from Special Leave this year, after nearly a year deployed on military operations with the British Army on a NATO mission.

Coming back into Covid-19 after missing most of it whilst abroad – let alone settling back into work, all remotely – was quite a culture shock. But in time, I found being at home was conducive to my productivity as there were far fewer distractions.

Which qualifications did you choose and why?

To someone like me – who had no academic background in finance – all the topics looked so appealing. It was difficult to choose.

So I relied on Blake, our LIBF Relationship Manager. He helped me find a study path that was time-efficient, intellectually stimulating and relevant to my aspirations of a long-term career in client-facing commercial banking.

I studied the Level 5 Commercial and Corporate Lending (CCL) and the Certificate in Relationship Management (CertRM) – both of which are part and parcel of my day job now!

Do you think it's important for bankers to learn about ethics?

Yes! 100%!

Bankers must uphold the highest moral and ethical values and standards.

Learning about ethics is invaluable. Level 5 Professionalism, Conduct and Ethics (5PCE) ventures much deeper than just common sense. It really questions your understanding and makes you reflect on the issues.

At the same time, it’s very practical and vividly brings the subject to life, which keeps it relevant and accessible.

Definitely an engaging qualification!

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