What an officer should know to be a successful banker

Mohammd Safayet Hossain :
There is a widely talked saying “Jack of all trades, master of none” which according to Merriam-Webster dictionary signifies that, a person who can do many things but is not an expert in any of them. This well-known saying is not befitting to a professional who dreams of building a successful career. For a professional, this saying may be modified as “Jack of all trades, master of one. Yes, this modified saying is specially hold for banker most, who should be “Jack of all trades, Master of one” – That is, being a professional one must be aware of all the area of banking activities including products, services, operations, tools, techniques, technologies laws, rules and regulations, be well conversant in doing almost all the area of activities in banking but must be expert in one or more specific area of banking so as to create a unique value in competitive banking career.
As we know the very nature of a banking career is that, entering in the banking career at the entry level as an officer or senior officer (otherwise than entering laterally in the higher post), a banker need to do job starting from the cash department, remittance department, clearing or collection department, accounts department, deposit department, investment or loan department, trade finance department, bill payment department, recovery department, legal department and some more area of banking in the branch banking level as a desk officer. However, gradually he needs to discharge the responsibilities as the head of above mentioned desks, head of the branch, head of the regional/zonal office, head of the divisional office, departmental head of controlling office or head office, chief of various department as General Manager (GM) and afterwards going through some senior management position like Deputy Managing Director (DMD), Additional Managing Director(AMD) and Chief Executive Officer(CEO) and Managing Director(MD). Apart from doing operational activities in field level banking, a banker needs to do job that facilitates and promotes operational activities like Auditing, ICT support, Accounting, Management, Administration, Planning and Research, Framing policies, Security activities, Treasury functions, Control functions, Legal affairs, Purchase and procurement functions, Company affairs, Estate management, AML and CFT functions, Public relations and Reporting and Publication activities, Overseas Banking Arrangement, CSR Activities, Monitoring and Compliance functions etc.
So it is very much evident from the hierarchical position of a banker is that it is quite impossible for a banker to continue the higher responsibility and position without having adequate knowledge and practical experience to the relevant field in the basic level who aspires to and become a successful leader as a banker.
The very objective of this article to give an idea about the probable area of knowledge and experience that a officer in a bank should have to become a successful banker. To get an idea about what a banker should know, I might emphasis (but not limited to) on the following areas:
1. As an employee of the bank one must have adequate knowledge about the Employees Code of conduct as laid in bank’s own HR Policy and Code of Conduct declared by Bangladesh Bank in 2017 for the Bank and Financial Institution to avoid disciplinary actions of any deviations and misconduct.
2. As a conscious banker one must have better knowledge about Financial system of Bangladesh, Money Market and Capital Market to know the bank’s position and role in this market, Player of the money market, Instruments of money market, regulators of money market etc.
3. As banker, an employee must have knowledge about the Formation and Functions of central Bank and Scheduled banks as stated in the Bangladesh Bank Order 1972, The Company Act, 1194 and The Banking Company Act, 1991 to avoid misdeeds and malpractices in the name of banking. And also the present scenario of the banking industry, size and scopes, strength and weakness, opportunities and limitations, tools and technologies, products and services as a whole.
4. As a bank employee of a particular bank must have knowledge about the formation and structure of his/her own bank, adequacy and quality human resource, adequacy of financial resource and other material resources, service delivery technology, banks own products and services, customer base and potential customers, area of potential development, situation of competitive environment etc.
5. As beginners, an employee working in the branch level must have knowledge about the duties and responsibilities as a desk officer as specified in the office order of the respective workplace by the authority, about their products and services for the customers, better customer service techniques, relationship management capacity, and better communication techniques.
6. An aspirant banker must be aware of the situation of Global Banking and financial Sectors activities to cope with global banking activities.
7. A banker must have knowledge about sources of capital/fund and probable area of investment of that fund.
8. A banker must have adequate knowledge about both national and international Laws, Rules, Regulations, Guidelines and policies that regulates and governs the banking sector and the related activities of the bank and financial institutions and business activities.
9. A banker must have knowledge about the Controller and Regulators of the Banking Sector and the instruction given time to time by the regulators through their guidelines, circulars, circular letters, regulations and gazette notifications.
10. As an investor, a banker must have knowledge about different types of business entity and their features to make business with them smoothly and advantageously.
11. As a leader and head, a banker must have knowledge about Governance, Administration and Management techniques of a bank and corporate bodies.
12. A banker must have required knowledge about finance and accounting to analyze financial statements for taking investment decisions.
13. A banker must have knowledge about marketing strategies of products and services of the banks in the huge competitive environment to become a successful manager.
14. A banker must have required knowledge about probable risk area of banking activities, core risks of bank, risk mitigation and management techniques to minimize risk and maximize profit and achieve business goal successfully.
15. A promising banker must have sufficient knowledge of ICT and other technologies that supports banking operation today and in the future days to come
16. Knowledge about govt. policies, programs and Priorities like SDGs, Vision 2041 etc.
A banker being conversant with the area mentioned above is expected to become a good officer in the banking profession. So receiving training on particular areas, studying continuously on prevailing and upcoming banking issues and putting earned knowledge into practices undoubtedly make a banker a successful one.

(The writer is Principal, Rupali Bank Training Academy, Email: [email protected])