Retail Banking

Retail banking involves working in the smaller, high street branches of larger commercial banks, such as AIB or Bank of Ireland. It is an important part of the banks’ overall operation, providing a mass-market service to personal account holders and business clients.

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Retail banking involves working in the smaller, high
street branches of larger commercial banks, such
as AIB or Bank of Ireland. It is an important part of
the banks’ overall operation, providing a mass-market
service to personal account holders and business clients.
Services range from savings and current accounts to
credit cards and loans. Retail banking has suffered severe
contraction in recent years, and this is likely to continue
as banks move to telephone and internet-based business
models.

What will I do?

Some banks, particularly the larger organisations, offer
graduate recruitment programmes where you will be
given the responsibility of handling the banking needs of
the clients, such as lending and depositing. This
experience can lead on to roles within branch
management.

Graduates working in flagship branches may operate
in a team of around 40 members of staff. The majority of
commercial banks operate on a global scale, which
means that you may have the chance to travel at some
point in your career.

Qualifications

Although many graduates come from a financial
background, many positions are open to graduates in
non-finance disciplines too. Employers consider
interpersonal and communication skills as important as
numeric ability. It will be vital for you to relate to the
needs of your customer and their experiences as well as
possessing the skills to communicate with people on
different levels. A higher-second-class degree is a general
necessity, as is a good knowledge of the products on
offer.

Trends

Many banks have fundamentally changed how they
operate with the public in recent years, with increasing
trends toward encouraging online, telephone or
automated banking. But there always will be a need for
the traditional ‘high-street’ bank in some shape or form.
Other financial services institutions, such as Building
Societies and Credit Unions, have similar graduate
opportunities.

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