Retail Banking and Corporate Banking Hierarchy?


I have used the search tool to find that the banking hierarchy in operations is similar to that of the investment banking hierarchy. My question is, what do the retail banking and corporate banking hierarchies look like? How important is an MBA in retail and corporate banking? Does it have to be from a top tier school?

From my research, I've been able to gather that personal bankers, usually get promoted to branch managers, or business bankers. However, I have had a tough time figuring out where branch managers and business bankers go, from there.

Comments (13)

Best Response
Mar 7, 2011 - 6:27pm

You might want to consider which side of Retail Banking you are looking at.

One side- The client-facing branch-side where you have tellers, personal bankers, assistant branch managers, branch managers, market executives, district executives, and heads of sales & distribution (That is often head of retail banking network)

The other side is the corporate side - the side that manages the actual retail banking side. So the corporate side sets the strategy, goals and manages performance/growth/etc etc while the branch network just executes.

An MBA can be useful in the corporate side where you have strategy, corpdev jobs, anaytics jobs.

I work and/or have worked in corporate side of retail banking.

Mar 7, 2011 - 10:05pm

Thanks for the replies so far. SB's for everyone.

It looks like the promotion structure for the client facing side is less rigid than other parts of finance. Is promotion beyond branch manager fairly common, or is it the exception to the rule? A few of my friends seem like they would rather kill themselves, than become personal bankers and I go to a non-target. But I don't think it sounds that bad, if promotions don't take decades.

Also, does retail banking on the corporate side, have a more rigid promotion structure?

EDIT: One of my finance professors claims that retail banking storefronts are going to be rapidly replaced by the internet and computer automation over the next few decades. IMHO, although that is true to some degree, I think that retail banking storefronts, for the most part, are here to stay. What do you guys think?

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions. -Niccolo Machiavelli
Mar 7, 2011 - 10:14pm

My opinion is to not bother with the client-facing side of retail banking- do you even need a college degree to be a personal banker?

Pay is much better corporate in my experience. At my bank it's Analyst => Director (VP) => Director (SVP) => Executive Vice President => Managing Director => CEO

Mar 7, 2011 - 10:24pm

You don't need a degree to become a personal banker, but a degree is essential to be considered for any sort of promotion.

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions. -Niccolo Machiavelli
Mar 9, 2011 - 9:13pm

exactly. Not to say that corporate side analyst wouldn't have pressure but being a retail banker isn't very prestigious when it comes to exit ops

Mar 10, 2011 - 11:40am

I guess you guys are right. If I wanted to deal with the sales pressure of personal banking, there are a lot more lucrative career paths I can choose.

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions. -Niccolo Machiavelli
Mar 12, 2011 - 6:05pm

What do corporate bankers even do? I get really confused because banks' websites are extremely vague and everyone here is just like, "lol commerical/corporate banking? Might as well be a shoe salesman with a redheaded wife" (well, not that exactly, but you get the idea). What is the pay like and is the work actually interesting?

Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer.
Sep 13, 2011 - 7:46am

"If your bank is client-facing, you'll have the following (in order of hierarchy) order: personal bankers, deputy/assistant branch managers, branch managers, market executives, regional/ district executives, and heads of sales & distribution. I used to work for Barclays ( and banks like this would also have a corporate banking arm, which inadvertently is the side that oversees the retail banking side (although in the UK anyway regulators are trying to separate the two for longer run stability, but that's another story). The corporate arm layout the strategy, objectives and oversees growth, amongst other things, the retail branch (without being condescending) simply executes. This subsequently means that corporate banking has a more rigid promotion structure.
Would agree with Mike 55555 layout of promotion structure too 'Analyst-->Associate-->AVP-->VP-->MD? Mike 55555'"

Sep 13, 2011 - 3:10pm
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