Working in a bank - Page 17 - Salary.sg Forums
Salary.sg Forums  

Go Back   Salary.sg Forums > The Salary.sg Discussion Forums: > Income and Jobs

Income and Jobs Discuss jobs, career options and of course salaries




Working in a bank

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #161 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2011, 09:41 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

The banking sector is misrepresented as a place of stable careers where everyone gets a decent bonus and lots of "glamour". I have seen many come and go, some fresh grads, some careers switches.

To those who want to be in the front office, i.e sales or trading.
1) Consumer Banking sales is the easiest route, most start from a mass market personal banker, some move on to privilege banking and a few step into the gates of private banking. There are many success stories of retail bankers bringing in huge dollars, I know a privilege banker who drives a Ferrari.

2) FI sales/ Equity or FX derivative sales/ Commodity Derivative Sales/ Fixed Income Sales etc - Selling to institutional clients, mostly foreign banks domain. They look for people with decent grades or have recommendation. In most of these sales role, its will definitely be a bonus if you are a attractive looking female specimen, as most counter-parties will be male.

3)Sales Trader/ Execution Trader/ Proprietary Trader - Sales trader are mostly well connected and already have a network of institutional clients. Execution Traders in private banks dont normally take fresh graduates and most of these traders have at least 3-5 years of dealing experience on their books. Proprietary Traders - In big foreign banks, they are extremely selective of who they take to be a junior trader, competition for that empty table on the trading floor is extremely stiff. You have to be academically good, might even need a masters, have to show you have good mathematical skills or programming knowledge. If you think just because you traded on the singapore equity market and made some small profit you have what it takes, sorry to burst your bubble. Most of the junior traders I know are not even singaporeans, and those that are, most dont even attend Local universities.

If anyone is thinking banking and finance is all about trading stocks and investing, thats nowhere close to what banking is about. FX is a much bigger business for the banks for that matter.

The bank is a very diverse place, where there are a huge variety of roles, CHOOSE WISELY!

Reply With Quote
  #162 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2011, 10:15 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
The banking sector is misrepresented as a place of stable careers where everyone gets a decent bonus and lots of "glamour". I have seen many come and go, some fresh grads, some careers switches.
What are the most stable jobs in finance... how about some positions in middle or back office? And how do you define stability... do you mean job security in the face of bad economy, or in the face of poor individual performance?

Reply With Quote
  #163 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2011, 10:28 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
What are the most stable jobs in finance... how about some positions in middle or back office? And how do you define stability... do you mean job security in the face of bad economy, or in the face of poor individual performance?
Its hard to quantify a stable job in a bank, i would probably say there are only more stable banks.

If you want stability, i.e chances of getting laid off is low even in economic recession, go for local banks, which are your DBS, UOB & OCBC

To me stability is income and job security.

Middle and back office roles, are support functions, they have their own set of targets to meet, but if the bank really want to reduce overhead cost, that would probably be one of the first hunting ground.

Reply With Quote
  #164 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2011, 12:43 AM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Its hard to quantify a stable job in a bank, i would probably say there are only more stable banks.

If you want stability, i.e chances of getting laid off is low even in economic recession, go for local banks, which are your DBS, UOB & OCBC

To me stability is income and job security.

Middle and back office roles, are support functions, they have their own set of targets to meet, but if the bank really want to reduce overhead cost, that would probably be one of the first hunting ground.

Not for DBS. They hire and fire too, just like any IB or PB.

Hi Eric,

If you are still reading this thread, I got some stuff to share with you. It may just kick start your career in the banking industry. I hope to inspire those who want to achieve more in life.

To start, let me provide some insight to my path to two of the world’s most prestigious banks in the last 4 years. I did average in my PSLE (217), never do well in O levels (21), did average in Poly (building mgmt-took 3 ˝ years). Parents were in business but failed terribly. Our family, parents, 3 siblings & grandma had no roof over our heads for a period of time.

I join the Armed Forces for 10 YEARS during the Asia Financial Crisis. Parents were bankrupts at the start of the Crisis. Siblings were still studying in secondary school. During these 10 youthful years, I got married and have 2 children then (now I have 4).

I was an army specialist doing any typical Spore Army Specialist will do. Smoke, swear, womanise, party, the negative list goes on and on. Fortunately, I was a very good runner. As such, I was always in my superiors’ good books. I guess my turning point was when my first child was born. I wanted to provide her the best but the salary as a specialist would never allow me to achieve that.

At first, I wanted to cement my career with the Army. I needed the upgrading course to increase my monthly salary. I worked so hard during one of that course that I came out best trainee.

Best trainee, Me, I have never won anything in my whole life. I couldn’t believe it. It was one of those if I believe I can, I can.

From this incident, I start to think if my attitude can be rewarded more handsomely if I was in the private sector. I did. However, I do not have any relevant experience and I have a family to feed. That was when I did some soul searching. I went back to my grades in primary, secondary and poly. I have always done well in Maths and Science during O level. In building management, I only did well in applied Science and Accounting. I am a maths person. I am not a linguistic person, so naturally, any subject that requires me to write, I score badly. Eg, company or building law – 50%

So before my contract ends, I need to arm myself with a certificate or a degree. I need to sign up a course that I have to be good in. So naturally, I signed up for ACCA (cheapest if you pass in one sitting) during the 7 ˝ year into my contract. If you are aware of the timeline between ACCA course and SAF contract, I need to pass all 14 papers in 2 ˝ years, i.e. I need to max the no of subjects I can take within a sitting.

I choose that path. I work 8-5, I go for night classes (almost 4 times a week), I revise after class. I sleep less than 4 hours a day and I did this for 2 straight years, while juggling between wife, kids (had a 2nd during my final module) and parents. During my studies, I make new friends. Fortunately, I got to meet people who are equally inspired to finish the course in the shortest possible time (their 2nd degree). 3 of us were always studying together.

With the ACCA cert in my resume, it was still tough for me. In my 11th hour into my contract, I was still not able to get any job. I knew during the ACCA course, I want to go into audit because I knew from friends that Audit’s pay is pretty decent if you compare with SAF salary. FYI, I am a very safe guy. However, no big 4 was interested in me since they have long list of NTU and SMU grads waiting at their doorstep. Why would they want an army guy which most employers perceive as rigid, lazy, always NATO.

This is where I start to understand that having a degree even a good one doesn’t help you to secure any job you desire. If you think you are good, there is always someone better than you. Basically you need contacts.

My father-in-law’s best friend is a public accountant. He was from PWC with more than 20 years of experience before he started his own accounting firm. After much reservation from him (not wanting to screw up his relationship with my FIL), he got me into his firm as an audit assistant. His firm is small. Audit team was only made up of 5 headcounts. None the less, I put in 200% for 6 months.

During SAF, I also got to know a friend whose wife was in one of the big 4. I have also provided my resume to her, hoping that the HR would pick up my resume. Luckily, they did. I was very quick to accept the offer. Similarly, I put in 200% of effort and time into my work.

Remember my ACCA friends that I studied together. They also managed to enter the BIG 4 performing other areas of finance. It was one of those lunch that we have that one of them told me that one US IB had an opening in the Finance Department (back office). I applied. The salary they offered would not only put me back to my last drawn SAF pay in less than 2 years but higher. I grabbed it and the rest are history. Recently make another switch to a UK IB and had a 20% increment.

Frankly, my salary is nothing compared to some MO or even FO. However, at some point, I have to be realistic. The salary I am getting is certainly much higher than what a SWO can even dream of. Maybe when I reached their age, I may be earning higher than 200k or even 300k a year though FO can easily breach that mark at a very young age. Fact is how many people in the society can even breach the 100k a year mark before 40 years old. I knew none of my family achieve that, not even extended ones. But one thing for sure, they are still very happy people.

Eric, this path I choose comes with a price. I do not get to see my children that often, only weekends and early morning when I send them to school. I even hardly have time for my wife and parents. For me, to see my loved one comfortably provided for was one of the key points that I never grew up with. Some may perceive this as shallow, but I am happy doing this and I stand firm on my principles. Hopefully my children will understand this in the future.

Some advice:
1) by hook or crook, finish your degree before you leave the force. Borrow if you need (not unsecured loans through banks – Ministry wont allow serviceman to be in debt). Employers want people who are ready to work, not those that still need to juggle between work and studies. Unless you are aiming for a 2nd or 3rd degree or masters.
2) Get into the bank first, Small or Big, BO or MO. Work hard, take on more projects, see more people, and establish yourself. You can only move forward. I was recently offered a MO role. So it is still possible to go up but that is all one can do without more contacts. Those that have gone into FO from MO are rare instances. Not impossible but very very unlikely.
3) Build your knowledge on other areas other than your core. This will make you different from others. Give banking bosses more reason to pay you more. Remember, Bank has nothing but money.
4) Leave the force if you want better monetary prospects. But you must be prepared to work very very very hard. I never believe people in the force work hard. I was in the system for 10 years. I have seen it all. Whatever effort I put in for 1 year in the private sector is probably equivalent to 5 years of their time. To be fair, maybe a small population within the forces are working hard but they are as rare as those getting into FO (without FO salary). If you are not willing to make sacrifice, stay in the RSAF.
5) Build up your contacts. Get to know more people. Be genuine. Lady luck may just appear on your doorstep.
6) Banking industry is also a sunset industry. Days of 6, 12 or 18 months bonuses are over.
7) The more salary you earned, the possibility of getting retrenched gets higher. Live with the fear of not having a job the next day. I saw it happened right in front of my eyes (5 times during the GFC)

Please note that I am only stating facts. I am a proud person by nature but I still know my roots. The only difference is that I take pride in whatever I am doing. I want more and I will work my butts to achieve that.

Good luck and wish everyone Huat!!!!
Reply With Quote
  #165 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2011, 12:55 AM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

^thanks, best post I've read in this thread so far, far better than the condescending putdowns by those arrogant think-they-know-it-all wannabes. Many keyboard warriors here may look down on you being in BO or MO but in reality, what you've done is no mean feat and your salary is very good even for many top degree holders.

Why do you say, though that banking is a sunset industry and there'll no longer be those bonuses? My impression is that banking adds value and their services will always be relevant to the economy. It's like law and medicine - never sunset.
Reply With Quote
  #166 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2011, 03:01 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 57
k3vin is on a distinguished road
Default

excellent excellent sharing of your experiences.
Reply With Quote

  #167 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2011, 08:55 AM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Insightful and inspiring post. Thanks for the sharing!
Reply With Quote
  #168 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2011, 10:30 AM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

if one is so motivated and willing to work as hard as the ex-army guy above (sacrificing sleep and family life for years), i think it's easier to build up multiple small businesses making a combined 200-300k a year in my opinion. and owning multiple businesses is less risky than working for others especially in a high-income role.
Reply With Quote
  #169 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2011, 11:18 AM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
6) Banking industry is also a sunset industry. Days of 6, 12 or 18 months bonuses are over.
No leh, my friend in OCBC front office just got 17 months bonus for last year's work loh... Product manager / structurer...

And some UOB friends got 5-7 months under commercial banking.
Reply With Quote
  #170 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2011, 02:17 PM
Verified Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 22
laguna is on a distinguished road
Default

very sincere in sharing
one of the best I have ever read
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
bank, banking, finance, financial, financial institution, investment banking

« Previous Thread | Next Thread »
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
NCS (SingTel subsidiary) newbirdinsg Companies 574 Today 12:12 AM
Poor working class Salary.sg Income and Jobs 2 25-03-2016 01:04 AM
Working culture in US MNC Karlena Income and Jobs 10 14-07-2010 10:22 AM
Bank executives work long hours Salary.sg Income and Jobs 2 25-05-2008 03:02 PM
High pay for bank operations recruits Salary.sg Income and Jobs 0 11-07-2007 01:53 PM

» 30 Recent Threads
Q: Big4 - Yearly salary increment ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
3,364 Replies, 1,389,426 Views
How is life as a doctor in... ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
2,907 Replies, 1,460,193 Views
Top paying companies in SG for... ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
97 Replies, 138,317 Views
How much to ask for starting pay... ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
181 Replies, 67,749 Views
GovTech Tech Associate Program... ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
113 Replies, 44,521 Views
Hospital (Private or Public)... ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
91 Replies, 26,890 Views
High Finance Thread ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
346 Replies, 111,043 Views
SIM-UOL fresh grad starting pay ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
6,150 Replies, 1,719,076 Views
GovTech ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
484 Replies, 345,060 Views
MINDEF DXO (All FAQ on it) ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
4,204 Replies, 2,593,444 Views
NCS (SingTel subsidiary) ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
574 Replies, 458,078 Views
Compare civil service salary ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
12,726 Replies, 7,484,412 Views
Mnc jobs - a must in life ?? ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
168 Replies, 68,533 Views
Officer Role in Bank of Tokyo -... ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
208 Replies, 172,132 Views
Working 2 FT (remote) jobs?...
2 Replies, 133 Views
DBS tech seed programme ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
1,084 Replies, 269,330 Views
Luxoft
0 Replies, 22 Views
Lawyer Salary ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
14,342 Replies, 4,824,751 Views
DBS Graduate Associate Program ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
2,065 Replies, 566,901 Views
Grab Finance Graduate Programme... ( 1 2)
16 Replies, 2,010 Views
UOB Management Associate Program ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
468 Replies, 287,671 Views
Queries about Cpib application ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
1,282 Replies, 651,669 Views
Getting MBA worth? ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
133 Replies, 100,979 Views
Business Manager role in...
0 Replies, 84 Views
Compilation of MAs/Analysts Gross... ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
821 Replies, 221,654 Views
Relocation to the US or stay in SG? ( 1 2 3)
20 Replies, 779 Views
Working in NEA ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
71 Replies, 89,207 Views
Civil Svc/ Statboard - Typical... ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
3,951 Replies, 1,809,668 Views
How to start a small business ( 1 2)
14 Replies, 7,765 Views
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2



All times are GMT +8. The time now is 08:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2