Retail banks ramp up their hiring

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Investment banks may be smarting from the credit crunch, but retail banks are still keen to add staff - and candidates from the corporate sector are often top of their list.

"Whilst there are opportunities to break into the investment banking and investment management arena, the majority of new hires are going into the retail banking sector," says Ian Clark, account manager at Hays City. "The credit crunch has shifted the way in which the retail banks view the products they are selling, from loans to savings. Banks are looking for candidates from a commercial background to work on strategic analysis of products, markets and competitors' behaviour."

So what positions are up for grabs? According to Clark, there is a large amount of recruitment at 'business partnering' level, working with finance and the business to manage budgets, forecasts and business cases. Salaries range from 45k-50k, plus bonuses 'benefits'.

Retail banking may be a convenient bridge for candidates from blue chip corporates who want to make the move into investment banking.

"Having gained experience in a retail banking environment, candidates would then be very attractive to investment banks and can even move internally to the global banking markets of these firms," says Clark.

Steve Leeson, an associate director at Morgan McKinley, says accountants with well-developed analytical, control and forecasting skillsets, plus a genuine interest in financial services, are best placed to make the move.

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