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Commercial Banking Career Overview

Author: Adam
Published:September 14, 2022
19 mins 20 secs
Commercial Banking Career Overview

Commercial banking, a branch of the financial services industry, includes different banks such as commercial banks and savings banks. Commercial banks are one of the core businesses in the financial field. They offer services to individuals, companies, and large organizations intending to enhance their economic well-being.

Their range of products includes personal banking, home loans, auto loans, commercial lending or business loans debit cards, and credit cards.

The activity of a commercial banker is to manage the current accounts and investments of clients. They also help them set up mortgages on their homes. These bankers are also duty-bound to ensure that they keep within the legal requirements which govern how much money can be lent out at any one time.

So, it’s essential for anyone considering this kind of career to have a sound knowledge of banking laws – although not all commercial bankers possess such expertise themselves.

A career in commercial banking might require a candidate with a degree or other substantial qualification in business or finance, although some employers within this sector consider candidates’ work experience more closely than these academic achievements.

There are two main routes through which people make their way progressively up the career ladder in commercial banking. Either they become tellers and work their way up to more senior positions, or they begin in a more senior role and move down the ladder.

What Is a Commercial Bank?

A commercial bank, also known as a “corporate bank” or “corporation bank,” provides financial products and services to individuals and companies such as loans, term deposits/savings accounts, foreign exchange transactions.

These banks focus on business customers with significant transaction volumes and those whose activities are considered riskier than personal banking. Some examples of commercial banks include Citibank Canada and the National Bank of Canada.

What’s in Commercial Banking for You?

Here’s an outline summary of what you’ll need to succeed in this profession: Outstanding communication skills: You must be able to explain complex concepts. Teamwork: In most cases, you will work with a team towards common goals and objectives.

Problem-solving skills: You would have to solve business problems for your clients by assessing financial needs and risks effectively.

Business Management Skills:

As a professional in this field, you need technical expertise and manage people and projects on time and within budget.

Computer Literacy:

An essential requirement since computer technology is commonly used in this industry. Analytical skills: This skill involves applying logical thinking before making decisions; it is imperative when working with statistics or daily transactions such as withdrawals or deposits on accounts.

Commercial Banking Career Profile


Commercial banks are the focal point for companies and individuals looking to borrow or deposit money. They offer accounts, loans, mortgages, credit cards, foreign exchanges, and so much more.

Commercial banks are generally divided into three branches: corporate banking, investment banking, and retail banking. Each branch serves a specific market segment in need of financial products.

Generally provides services to large corporations—the main customers being public companies with significant revenue streams whose activities are considered high risk since they have volatile cash flows.

Some examples of these clients include mining companies or manufacturing industries that frequently make capital investments in plants or equipment.

Investment Banks: Deals primarily with wealthy investors – companies or individuals who have access to large sums of money they can invest or lend to other parties. They tend to be more stable and less risky than corporate banking clients, but their transactions can either add or reduce the risk for the bank depending on the kind of investments they make.

Retail Banking: Provides services such as savings accounts, mortgages, loans, and financing that are targeted towards individuals and small businesses with lower transaction volumes which are considered safer risks.

So What Does This Mean for You?

Well, if you’re looking to work in commercial banking, you’ll need a solid educational background with a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or economics; some employers may even require an MBA degree.

You’ll also have to perform well during your rotations while studying and participate in extracurricular activities such as debating clubs or even organizing charitable events.

In terms of skills, you’ll need to be a clear thinker with excellent communication and teamwork skills since you’ll most likely manage a team through the various stages of a project. You will also have to be comfortable using technology and making decisions based on facts without being subjective.

But don’t worry – you won’t have unlimited access to sensitive information, but rather make recommendations in line with the banking policies.

As for salary, it depends on your performance during university, previous work experience, and education level. It is exceptionally high in countries with high living costs, such as Canada and Switzerland, since banks can afford to pay competitive salaries to attract top talent.

In terms of the future, banks are taking a more significant role in technology and innovation. To keep up with their clients’ needs and demands, you can expect that they will constantly look for people who have a strong sense of curiosity and interest in this field.

Division of Commercial Banking

Commercial Banking

Commercial banks are generally divided into three branches: corporate banking, investment banking, and retail banking. Each component serves a specific market segment in need of financial products.

Corporate Banking:

Generally provides services to large corporations—the main customers being public companies and large private companies.

Retail Banking:

Provides services such as savings accounts, mortgages, loans, and financing that are targeted towards individuals and small businesses with lower transaction volumes which are considered safer risks.

Investment Banking:

Generally provides services to corporations issuing securities in the primary market—it could be either equity security or debt security. These services include (but are not limited to) underwriting, acting as an agent when a firm issues new securities (IPO), trading securities for customers like pension funds and hedge funds.

The Path to Commercial Banking Career

Some Core Skills:

Commercial bankers need to deal with pressure effectively, not least because jobs within this sector tend to involve long hours and an intense working environment.

These qualities will often include good communication skills and numerical ability; problem-solving abilities; vital planning and organization skills; effective teamwork; discretion; trustworthiness; dedication; leadership potential; creativity; risk management and business acumen – the ability to manage business-related information effectively.

Right Qualifications:

Commercial banking careers are available to candidates who hold a degree or other substantial qualifications in business or finance. However,  some employers within this sector consider candidates’ work experience more closely than these academic achievements.

Commercial bankers need to deal with pressure effectively, not least because jobs within this sector tend to involve long hours and an intense working environment.

Manage Pressure:

Commercial bankers need to deal with anxiety effectively, not least because jobs within this sector tend to involve long hours and an intense working environment. Commercial bankers are subjected to a great deal of pressure throughout their careers, yet they remain undaunted.

Some may think that the banking industry is low-stress and offers little opportunity for growth, but this is far from true: it demands constant learning and innovation. There are several strategies that commercial bankers can employ to manage their stress levels and maintain stability under pressure.

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First and foremost, staying organized is essential; having a list of all current projects will prevent any future mixups or omissions. It can be helpful to break complicated tasks into smaller parts so as not to become overwhelmed by complexity.

A third way to cope with increasing levels of stress is through delegation – rather than taking on every task personally, lending a helping hand when the situation allows it can prove to be a great relief.


It is also essential for commercial bankers to focus on their goals and ambitions, as this will motivate them in times of challenge. Aspiring to reach higher levels within the industry provides a sense of direction and purpose that makes even the most difficult tasks seem more manageable.

Learning from past experiences is another coping strategy that can help commercial bankers persevere through any challenging periods they may face in the future.

It must be noted that each individual copes with stress differently; some people may prefer yoga or meditation while others find solace in exercise or taking walks around the block. What is most important is finding small ways to relax and unwind.

Skills of A Commercial Banker

Commercial Banking

Some key competencies are expected from commercial bankers during him discharging his duties; a good grasp of all these skills would set the path for him to excel accordingly on the job.

The vital skills areas are listed below:

  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Customer service 
  • Emotional intelligence 
  • Numerical skills
  • Teamwork 
  • Organization and Time management
  • Leadership and Team management 

1. Communication Skills

This skill tops the park in terms of required skills that someone seeking to explore job opportunities in the commercial banking sector should possess.

To excel as a commercial banker, you would need to have excellent writing and verbal communication skills since your job responsibilities would involve communicating with clients verbally and by writing to clients who might not be experts in the area of finance.

However,  they would want to ensure that you can communicate appropriately to them to understand. 

Functioning in the financial sector would involve you communicating with a diverse clientele base, the majority of whom may not possess the financial background; therefore, there is an increased need for you to communicate effectively without any form of ambiguity and by limiting the technical jargon to the barest minimum so that they can fully understand.

Prospective employers would want to assess your capabilities in oral and written communication as this would set the tone of your ability to retain existing and bring new businesses to the bank.

Hence, if you desire to further a career in commercial banking, you would need to improve on this skill in particular.

2. Problem Solving

The ability to resolve issues on the spot is another skill that a commercial banker must possess the ability to solve problem work through a solution, and seek input from other contributors in a bid to resolve the issue and validate the approach” Prospective employers would prepare a scenario where they assist in preparing employees for the real-life situation in through exercises and interview questions. 

Some interview questions are geared towards understanding how individuals are ready to take responsibility for their actions and expected to react in similar situations. A commercial banker should be well equipped to engage others appropriately and meet deadlines successfully.

An interviewer for the role of a commercial banker would like to follow the thought process of the prospective employee and gain insight into how he is expected to solve similar situations when he encounters them.

3. Customer Service

The banking landscape has been highly competitive because most financial services companies offer nearly the same service.

An excellent commercial banker, aside from possessing good communication skills and problem-solving skills, must have the requisite mindset to empathize with the clients and listen to their problems while seeking solutions. 

A commercial bank that hopes to retain and earn new business and a new clientele base must possess in abundance the right skill of customer-oriented point of view.

As such, recruiters for the role of a commercial banker often take adequate care in assessing the ability of a prospective employee to interact effectively and build rapport with the interviewers.

Some interview questions are tailored to inquire about when you have navigated yourself through situations where you have understood and dealt with the needs of others.

You might have held part-time jobs as a customer service representative where you have developed the requisite skill to manage customers’ needs effectively. There might have been some time where you might have offered help in a voluntary capacity.

4. Emotional Intelligence

If the concept of a tree represents a financial firm, which is robust internal, then internal and external relationships would be the roots hidden in the soils.

Therefore, a company without good roots, the planted tree would suffer inundated growth and produce good fruit (results and profit). Emotional intelligence is considered the essential element needed to build robust relationships.

Whether modern or traditional, all financial institutions, regardless of whether they operate within the actuarial science, insurance, risk or regulatory arena or insurance are built on relationships, and so far as this exists, there is a need to pay requisite time to the development of this relationships, making emotional intelligence an essential element of their service rendering and meaning that this aspect cannot be substituted for technology.

The field of actuarial consulting is built mainly on developing the right relationship with people, their ability to empathize is an important quality to have as a commercial banker.

In banking, clients must have someone they are happy to communicate with over the phone or physically.

5. Numeracy Skills

Another essential skill for a commercial banker to possess is the ability to understand and work with numerical and graphical information, support this with the ability to analyze the numbers, draw conclusions and make relevant deductions in the explanation of your findings.

Most employers of commercial bankers expect that prospective employees have all it takes to ensure that they can analyze the data provided to them.

Therefore you will be required to have a numerate degree such as mathematics, statistics, or economics, as well as a maths A level. If you are looking for a career in financial institutions, you must possess numerical skills as numerical tests as part of the recruitment process.

6. Teamwork

A commercial banker must be able to function effectively in a team. Therefore, teamwork relates to the ability to operate smoothly and efficiently within any group.

Having this skill would serve to encourage others and possess the skill to compromise and put your interests aside, and being able to communicate with, negotiate, influence, and advise your team to enhance the achievement of the company’s goal.

The ability you possess to work effectively in a team would be practically put to the test while on group assignments. There would be a measured ability to communicate effectively with your team members.

If you desire to make a good and lasting impression on assessors, you should be willing to contribute constructively to discussions and activities while listening to colleagues and encouraging them to do the same. This would immediately set you apart as a team player.

7. Organisation and Time Management

The ability to organize complex data accordingly would serve as a basis for you to manage your time effectively while getting the best results from your time and reach specific goals.

Your organizational skills might be tasked by employers, which would serve as a basis for assessing your applications.

Included on your CV or application form, and if asked by recruiters, you should endeavor to show how you can manage your commitments through your organizational skills, which you have displayed at different times.

You must show how you have successfully managed projects while studying and enhance your chances of improving your skills by managing projects as an undergraduate and displaying how you can use this skill for a graduate.

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It would be best to discuss how you must juggle different commitments without one suffering from the other.

You can also describe how you have handled situations of the peak period in your workplaces, such as shops, cafes, or restaurants. This would serve to position you appropriately for securing this position. 

8. Leadership and Team Management

You must possess good Leadership and team management skill which is the ability to direct a team to do the best that it can do.

There are many ways leadership is similar to teamwork, although it also involves taking responsibility for your team and maintaining your influence over the job being carried out.

This is an important attribute to possess as a prospective commercial banker as they seek candidates who can take the bull by the horn. Interviewers are likely to inquire about leadership experience; you must choose something successful while accentuating the role you played in achieving the result.

An example could be when you took on the responsibility of a team member who could not come to work due to illness, you could explain the role you played in ensuring that no balls were dropped during this period.

Stating how you managed the workload and ensured that deadlines were met.

Professional Educational Background for Commercial Banking Careers


Education options in commercial banking careers include the same degree programs that are standard prerequisites for other financial jobs. Most employers look favorably on degrees in finance, economics, or business administration.

Those who want to work as tellers in banks will need a high school diploma and specialized training. The job outlook is projected to be better than average, with solid employment growth expected over the next decade.

Employment Options Within Commercial Banking Careers

The employment outlook for individuals with degrees in business or finance is good, although opportunities may be limited in some regions.

The highest levels of employment growth are expected within the securities and commodity exchanges industry; however, most positions within this sector tend to require prior experience and high-level training.

Most sources agree that it is not necessary for applicants without relevant work experience to have formal qualifications, but their chances will increase significantly if they do so. Banks typically advertise available.

Commercial Banking Career Profile

Aside from a bachelor’s degree in any relevant course such as commerce or finance, a commercial banking job requires prior work experience, specifically in a bank branch.

And while a master’s degree is not always required for employment at a commercial bank, working effectively within the team will demand enhanced communication skills from you to interact with customers, colleagues, and managers alike.

As part of your training program at a bank, you get an opportunity to learn about the banking philosophy, policies, and procedures before you are given your first assignment.

You will primarily be required to answer customer queries or inquiries.

You would also assist customers by recommending financial products that best meet their needs within the scope of the bank’s capability. As an integral team member, you may also share lending judgments, marketing strategies, and sales expertise.

If you are logical, analytical, and rational, this career is for you because it demands great attention to detail and quick thinking under pressure to make critical decisions quickly.

Many commercial banks hire individuals who aim at long-term positions; however, other banks recruit employees looking for short-term contractual jobs before moving on to other companies where they can expect higher salaries.

Commercial Banker Profile


Commercial Banking Career Profile:

Your first stop is the bank when you need a loan to buy a house. For many people, banks are where they manage their money. To consumers and small businesses, a bank provides financial services, including credit cards, savings accounts, checking accounts, etc.

With so many products being offered and various options to choose from, it can be difficult for an individual to make choices without prior experience or knowledge of the industry.

This is where commercial bankers come into play; these individuals help customers understand all their options and select loans that best suit their needs while keeping in mind the customer’s creditworthiness and ability to repay any debt they assume.

The primary goal of a commercial banker is to help companies grow by finding ways to finance their projects and make their operations more efficient.

Commercial bankers have a great deal of company and industry-specific knowledge that helps them understand the business’ goals and lending criteria.

A commercial banker’s responsibilities include: assessing a client’s financial situation to determine the type of loan they qualify for, researching market trends/credit information to identify potential risks, approve/disapprove loans based on risk assessment, determining how much is loaned from an underwriter’s approval, maintaining client relationships through communication about their account status, working with other departments within the bank such as marketing or collections to help clients grow their businesses.

In addition to experience in sales and service positions at retail establishments, applying for a commercial banking role requires analytical, numerical, and interpersonal skills. When you are ready to talk to the hiring manager, make sure, your resume highlights references to these traits.

You might also want to highlight any demonstrated abilities in comparable situations, such as how effectively you managed quotas or worked well with customers during your retail service experience.

As a commercial banker, the transactions you handle are much larger than those of a bank teller or even credit card customer representative.

Commercial bankers typically work more independently and often interact with clients on more personalized levels while providing high-level client financial management solutions and advice.

Commercial banking is snowballing, and there is an ever-increasing demand for workers in this industry. To find a job in this field, you may have to apply for positions that require some degree of experience. However, if you are a recent graduate, there are opportunities for new hires with less experience.

When applying for these positions, it is important to emphasize any training or coursework you have completed related to finance and business concepts.

Depending on the company where you apply and how much-related work experience they’re looking for from applicants, some positions may also require professional certification, such as those offered through the Institute of Certified Financial Planners (ICFP).

Although not always required, certification can demonstrate your competence within the industry that employers will value highly. Make sure your resume emphasizes any personal credentials already held.

Commercial Banking Career Profile:

To find a career as a commercial banker, some experience in the banking sector is typically required, and relevant education in this field will require you to make difficult decisions that directly affect your clients’ business.

However, there are also opportunities for new graduates with less work experience who have completed relevant coursework.

If you’re ready to apply for these positions, be sure to emphasize any training or coursework you have completed related to finance and business concepts depending on the company where you use and how much related work experience they’re looking for from applicants.

Some positions may also require professional certification, such as those offered through the Institute of Certified Financial Planners (ICFP). not always required, certification can demonstrate.

So if You’re Interested in Getting Involved in Commercial Banking, Keep These Tips in Mind.

Keep updated on current technologies such as mobile banking or online transactions so that you’ll be comfortable using them to improve your work efficiency.

Increase your knowledge on how global markets work so that you’ll understand the impact of certain decisions being made about your clients.

Practice effective decision-making by thinking critically about scenarios presented to you without being subjective – it could help boost your performance during times of stress and pressure.

And finally, if you’re looking for a career change after spending years working in another field, there is no better time than now to start looking into commercial banking as an excellent option where you can earn as high as $90,000 base pay plus bonus as a credit analyst and as high as $100,000 base pay plus bonus as an account manager.