From retail banking to corporate / commercial banking |
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From retail banking to corporate / commercial banking

Question :

I am now working in a local bank as relationship manager.  My job duties including acquire new SME customers, loans and employee benefit services in branch (I think the job is relatively simple as no credit proposal writing exercise was involved).  I have 7 years of banking experience, in which 3 year mid-office experience of segment marketing after graduated and 4 year frontline experience.

Academic qualification:
Undergraduate - Marketing in local university.
Master - Finance in a local university (in progress, for equipping further career direction is commercial / corporate banking)

Reasons for career change:
For better future prospect, wants completely changing field from retail banking (including SME)  to commercial / corporate banking.

Career option:
Given my situation as SME RM in branch,

1. Is it feasible to change from existing role to corporate banking (Large corp / MME business)?
2. Is it feasible to change from existing role to commercial / business banking?
3. Will the factors of "without experience in writing credit proposal" 
affects much for option 1&2 ?  Any ways I could prepared to cope with this problem?
4. What will be forecast of human resources demand for Corporate / Commercial banking RMs in 2014?

Grateful if you could answer my questions, thank you!

- Allen

Posted by Allen on Wednesday, 06 Nov 2013

Comments :

Mark Enticott - Career Doctor

Posted Friday 22nd November 2013 07:52:00 PM


The move from retail to corporate / commercial banking is not that straight forward but it is possible if you are willing to be flexible. To make this change it will require you to either make an internal move or work alongside a relationship manager in corporate banking while you build your knowledge of the market. It is feasible to make the change and there are a few ways that you can approach this. The first is consider making an internal move in your company. How you approach this is important, so it is best to look at internal vacancies on your companies intranet and also talk to your manager about the ability to transition to this role. The other alternative is to start to look for roles within the market. It is important to remember that you will need to potentially take a more junior role and lower compensation to make the move. You will need to gain experience and knowledge of working in the corporate banking market. Often corporate / commercial banking will require some credit analysis skills. While many banks will have a separate department that will look after the credit approval process, it is expected relationship managers do have the ability to do an initial review of the application and discuss any issues or concerns with the client. This allows the bank to also manage the clients expectations and to avoid any surprises later in the process. If you don’t have experience in writing credit proposals, it might be a good idea to talk to people in your current bank about the best way to gain more experience in this area. In 2014, the expectation is there will still be a good level of demand for relationship managers across banking. Banks will recruit people who have experience in the role and have the ability to bring additional business to the bank. Finally, I would recommend that you talk to people in corporate / commercial banking and get their views on how to make the transition. If you are prepared to compromise, work hard and ultimately passionate about working in this area, then you have a good chance of achieving your goal.

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