Corporate banks provide a wide range of financial services including lending, clearing, investing deposits and organising specialist products for clients with high turnovers (generally speaking, those in excess of £25 million sterling). Typical clients include financial institutions, major companies, and Irish commercial state companies. Most leading banks will have a corporate banking division.
What does the job involve?
Within the corporate bank, there are three distinct areas of work. The first is relationship building, in which you interact with clients on a daily basis and get to know their business. This job requires banking staff to ensure that their business is running efficiently by anticipating their needs.
The second role is working in origination. This is the marketing element of the bank, where research is conducted in order to attract new clients. Liaising with accountants and other intermediaries is essential to succeeding in this area.
The final role is in corporate and structured finance. When a new client has been found, corporate and structured finance teams will work together to ensure that a customised package of services is created for the client.
As in other areas of banking, it is typical for you to join a graduate training scheme within corporate banking – often after completing an internship. The graduate training scheme will give you a taste of bank life and experience of each sector. There will be a lot of information and jargon to take on board in a short space of time so ensure you ask questions if you need to.
In the graduate training scheme you will quickly be given a great deal of responsibility. This will include nurturing successful relationships with existing clients and developing these over time, as well as building up new contacts. It’s not unusual to find that you have client contact from an early stage and that your clients are senior figures in their industry.
Applications are usually accepted from graduates with a 2.1 degree or higher in any discipline. Although formal training is given when you begin, an aptitude for analysing numbers is beneficial. You will also need to be an enthusiastic, fast learner with good interpersonal and communication skills to deal effectively with clients. Developing the skills to network successfully with senior colleagues, clients and other graduates will help you to do well in this sector.
An international career
To keep in line with the trend towards globalisation, some leading players within the corporate banking sector are increasingly looking to provide an international service for their clients. Don’t be surprised, therefore, if you liaise internally with teams in international offices.