Career focus: work as a financial credit analyst in banking



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In the aftermath of 2008’s economic meltdown, banks rushed to fix the leaks that had led to too much credit being offered to clients who couldn’t afford to repay it.

This meant that credit risk analysts in the banking sector – otherwise known as risk analysts and financial analysts – were asked to be stricter about approving lending to those who’d struggle to pay it back.

“Credit analysts have never been as important as they are right now.”

Credit in the form of business loans is crucial to the fabric of society; without it companies would be unable to secure money for short-term borrowing.


What credit analysts do

People who work in analysis and data analyst jobs sift through credit applications with a fine toothcomb in order to reach a decision about whether it’s okay to dish out the dough in the form of a loan.

Alongside playing a vital part in each decision about whether credit should be made available or not, credit risk analysts and people working in similar finance jobs have a role in setting the interest rate and repayment term applied to loans.

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Working as a credit analyst is essentially about walking a tightrope between protecting the interests of the bank and providing support to applicants and giving them an amount they can repay, within an achievable timeframe and at an affordable rate.

A career in risk management as an analyst is worth chasing if you want to have a job that’s a crucial part of the economic jigsaw, while also proving you have a wide-range of skills which can help you excel in many industries.


Skills credit analysts need

These talents include being able to work well in teams, as credit analysts generally work in groups in order to thoroughly scrutinise clients’ financial situations.

Of course, the ability to interact tactfully with clients and explain why you’ve reached your decision is an important skill to have.

“Gaining a degree in finance will equip you with many of the skills needed to be successful in a career as a credit analyst”

To become an analyst in financial management you’ll need to prove that you have strong academic abilities, which could stem from completing a financial degree but could also come from another degree area like business, IT and law.

Gaining a degree in finance will equip you with many of the skills needed to be successful in a career as a credit analyst, like ratio analysis and statistics, but if you complete a qualification in a different subject you’ll likely be given training to sharpen your understanding of risk management.


Work experience in banking

For students who come into credit analysis from a different background, relevant work experience in the form of placements, banking internships or insight schemes for first years with a bank takes on even greater importance.

It will expose you to the financial work environment and tasks like analysing company transactions and the amount of risk they present, which requires you to research business models, market positions and industries.

Placements, sales internships and insight schemes can be undertaken with some of the world’s biggest financial organisations, like Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays.

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