The Pros and Cons of Commercial Banking

Editor - CoolAvenues | January 04,2014 04:08 pm IST

d). Technology Oriented:

As banks incorporate higher levels of technology in their activities, there is a very large requirement of competent people in software development and testing, network design and operations and of course, e-commerce related activities.

There are no clear trends in banks’ approach to technology, with some banks preferring to develop and run their own systems, while others out-source these activities to vendors. In either case, employment and growth prospects are good.


e). Non-Traditional Jobs:

In addition to offering conventional deposit and loan products, commercial banks also offer other services like trade finance, payments, cash management, custodial services and credit cards. As most of these activities are fee-based activities (as opposed to fund-based), they offer an excellent risk-return payoff and banks are increasing their presence in these businesses. Therefore, jobs for people with the right kind of skills abound in these parts of a bank. There are also jobs like product management, financial accounting available in commercial banks.


Sweet - The Pros:

Variety of Jobs & Sharp Learning Curve

The biggest advantage of Commercial banking is the variety of jobs and responsibilities that it offers. Because of their wide range of products and services, the different type of customers you can expect all kinds of jobs as mentioned above. So, you have an excellent mix of relationship, sales, operations, analysis and product management opportunities. The advantage is the portability of these learnings to other finance, sales & marketing, asset management and software jobs.



With the industry becoming increasingly competitive, compensation packages have gone up in the recent past. In Investment Banking, if you are not making Rs. 20 Lakh p.a. within 5-6 years, then you have missed the bus.


High on Technology

As mentioned earlier, in commercial banking as in all other industries, technology is playing an increasingly important role. With banks trying to use information technology to move into new products and services, this is an exciting area to be, with tremendous scope for learning.

ICICI, Citibank and HDFC Bank are some banks which have defined Internet strategies well in progress, and these guys should be the ones to watch out for in the future.


N' Sour - The Cons:

New Entrants

The rapid changes sweeping through the industry can be intimidating to some extent. The industry is set for further consolidation, and job security may reduce to some extent. Also, in spite of the excitement about technology and the possibilities it offers to banks, there is always the risk that new players with a radically different business model may force out existing players.


High on Conservatism

Another negative is the inherent nature of work in a bank – bankers tend to err on the side of caution. This conservatism may not appeal to many fresh MBAs who are looking for dynamic, business development kind of jobs right from day one.


Limited Exit Options

Another potential downside is that shifting out of the banking industry is generally not possible, unless it is at higher management levels. Exit options of this kind are probably the brightest in transferable functions like marketing of retail products and technology, rather than treasury or operations. Most banks give you only a limited choice of final posting or function at the entry levels, but lateral entrants can often structure their roles well in a specific area of their choice.


Employment Tips:

1). A career here calls for good product knowledge and cross-selling skills. It also calls for exceptional people-management skills as there will be customer complaints and requests.

Good financial analysis and risk assessment skills are as important as communication and selling skills as competition in this segment has traditionally been stiff.

Generally the candidate should be aggressive(not on the verge of being rude) with excellent communication skills. All the bank(incl. desi banks) prefer a smattering of Englissied accent along with good financial skills. Alongwith with these, a sound academic record is also crucial.

3). An important part of selection process is group situations, wherein you might be required to take part in a GD or group processes to assess you attitude towards group situation. This is followed by a Interview where you are assessed on communication skills and financial concepts.

Corporate Recruiters:

ABN Amro
ANZ Grindlays
HDFC Bank (including TimesBank)
Standard Chartered



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