The performances of Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector and that of the real economy are reciprocal. While the global economy trudges along at depressingly slow growth rates, Indian economy is recording growth rates well above the median. The prognosis is that things are slated to get better, and that augurs well for the future of the BFSI.
Needless to say, the impending boom in the economy will lead to exponential demand for manpower across the spectrum of work dimensions in the BFSI sector.
While employment opportunities emerge, it is also essential that prospective career builders should be equipped to strike while the iron is hot.
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The Three Segments
A career path in the BFSI is tri-segmental with each of the segments calling for unique skill sets and aptitude.
A segment for which career builder is selected is determined by his academic performance, personal qualities and aptitude. This selection is decided on a best-fit basis and is never a verdict on his capability to deliver in the other segments. Fundamentally, the three segments are functional, product related and customer-centric.
The functional roles in the industry are most often described by the terms client servicing or relationship management.
The role involves management of a base of established customers. The objective is to assist the customers in monitoring and reviewing their portfolios, recommend modification of asset allocation on the basis of portfolio performance and provide near real-time response to client demands.
Excellence in relationship management is integral to customer retention which is the yardstick used to assess performance.
Building a professional rapport with the customer base leads in the course of time, to incremental investments and career growth.
2) Product Related
A role in the product segment involves core competency in delivering tangible results in marketing a specific product.
The BFSI universe is chock a block with a multitude of financial and investment instruments –equity, convertible instruments, fixed income securities, real estate, metals, commodities, currencies, insurance, private equity and structured products.
Selection of the appropriate product requires not only deep insights into the structure of the product but also an understanding of the financial goals of the investor, the time frame for achieving goals and his risk appetite.
Every customer is critical to the principal but every customer also has specific requirements. BFSI categorises customers into reasonably homogeneous groups such as NRI, High Networth Individuals (HNI), Corporate, SME, Retail, Agricultural, Micro-finance, etc.
Every group is important- while retail adds numbers and spreads risks, corporates deliver bulk business thus paring administration costs. Support to the agricultural and SME sector is a regulatory prescription and compliance is mandatory.
All these above categories lead to a consideration of the employment opportunities in the BFSI sector, the job descriptions and skills that could lead to above par performance.
Role: Credit Officer
The credit officer is the first point of contact for a customer looking for a credit facility – fund based (loan, etc.) or non-fund based (guarantee, letter of credit, etc.).
Traditionally, the role of a credit officer began only when a customer approached his desk. But, the dynamics have changed with the proliferation of banking channels and customers are now spoilt for choice of lenders. The responsibilities of the modern day credit officer commence with the discovery of business opportunities, conversion of enquiries into business, high-quality customer selection, and dispassionate credit assessment.
Knowledge and Skills
A credit officer should have a thorough understanding of how to read, understand and analyse balance sheets and profit & loss accounts, financial ratios and their interplay, etc.
Additionally, a credit officer needs to keep abreast of the latest regulatory norms especially those related to compliance with KYC norms, CTA/AML (Combating Terrorism Activities and Anti Money Laundering) standards, etc. A credit officer should be familiar with the interpretation of financial statements, comfortable with an IT environment, have all round knowledge of the business environment and knowledge of industry trends.
Role: Personal Banking
Personal banking is a key element of branch banking and involves a continuous interface with the customers of the bank. The responsibilities comprise management of savings bank accounts, deposit accounts, current accounts, credit cards, debit cards, safe deposit lockers, etc.
Knowledge and Skills
In terms of academic qualifications, the assignment could be comfortably managed by an employee with strong fundamentals in accountancy and clear knowledge of the products he is dealing with.
This responsibility, however, is tailor-made for people with good soft skills. The career builder should have excellent interpersonal skills, outstanding verbal communication skills, a customer friendly approach, quick response time, adherence to time and performance commitments and finely tuned conflict resolution ability.
Role: Loan Officer
The work dimensions of a loan officer cover sanction of home loans, vehicle loans, personal loans, education loans, etc. to customers.
These loans are generally sanctioned to individuals. The responsibilities include compliance with Know Your Customer (KYC) norms that have been prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), ensuring the authenticity of the home loan, etc, documents of title, background check of the reputation and social standing of the prospective borrower, analysis of the credit history of the applicant, etc.
Knowledge and Skills
The employees should be equipped with knowledge of the loan products, be computer friendly (these loan processes are largely system driven), customer friendly and have a professional approach to work.
How to Get Ready for these Roles?
You can get ready to cash in on these career opportunities by enrolling with the TKWs Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) for its Post Graduate Diploma in Banking and Finance. The course is structured to first, build sound fundamental knowledge of the sector, and then embark upon equipping students with cutting edge knowledge across the spectrum of financial instruments and structures in banking and insurance.
A unique feature of the course is the fact that its curriculum prepares students for excelling in employment in both public sector and private sector organisations. It provides in-depth knowledge of Banking vis-à-vis other courses like MBA Finance, which tends to be generic. What’s more, you also get a Certificate in International Trade & Finance (CITF), which can get you a sound career opportunity in the trade department of a bank.
Once armed with the knowledge of risk analysis, mutual funds, wealth management, financial planning, derivatives, etc. the world of BFSI will be your canvas.