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Commercial Banking:
Facts and Trends

Banking is Satisfying
Money magazine surveyed 100 jobs in the United States. The job of banker was listed as the second most satisfying. Bankers love their jobs!

Banking is in a Period of Consolidation
Banking is going through a period of tremendous consolidation with frequent mergers and layoffs. Mergers abound such as those of Citibank and Travelers into Citigroup or NationsBank and BankAmerica. Customers don't go to branches like they used to and increasingly rely on ATM's and electronic transactions. And many now direct their savings into mutual funds like Vanguard and Fidelity. At the same time business increasingly raise money using commercial paper and medium-term notes instead of bank loans. This means jobs are getting tighter. Fortune: "Few industries have experienced as intense a spasm of consolidation and corporate restructuring as has banking in the past decade. New mergers-and job cuts-are announced practically every week..."

The Bad Economy of 2009 is Impacting Banking
Certain banks like Citigroup have been profoundly impacted by the most recent financial crisis. And, of course, numerous banks in the mortgage area have taken losses and have applied for TARP funding. But more broadly profitability has been hit in many places. This has caused the industry to engage in significant cost cutting and "penny pinching". Interestingly, numerous banks remain profitable and continue to "hire at all levels."

Don't Forget Government Job Opportunities in Banking
State governments and the U.S. government actively recruit banking regulators. Interesting places to look include The Office of Thrift Supervision, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council and the Federal Reserve Banking System.

Branch Out
Jobs in bank branches could be risky. According to a study by Deloitte & Touche about 30% of bank employees (850,000 people) work in branches. However, productivity improvements were expected to replace 151,200 of them, and electronic delivery of services was projected to eliminate an additional 344,400 jobs. When new jobs created by electronic delivery services were factored in, the study showed a net loss of 450,000. This could continue going forward.

Banking is Shrinking
The business of banking is changing dramatically as traditional demand deposit and CD business shrinks. The U.S. banking system's share of financial assets in the economy has sunk to 25%, the lowest in the last 130 years.

Specialized Banks are Doing Best
Banks which specialize in a niche such a retail lending, credit card operations, cash management or global retail appear to be doing better than more diversified banks. Expect focused banks to continue to succeed and create more jobs.

You May be Traveling
Regulations now permit interstate banking. Historically, you might not have been asked to travel much as a banker or deal with businesses in other states. That has changed.

Middle-Managers Are In Demand
The shake-up in banking has left a shortage of good middle-managers, especially at smaller banks which find it more difficult to hire well-trained managers away from well-staffed larger banks. Other hot areas include loan review officers, technology specialists and auditors.
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