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  • Matt Spencer

Discover the working career of an Account Relationship Officer working within the Banking Sector in


I work in the banking/financial industry and my skills are portfolio/account management; ratio analysis of financial statements; business development; general management; marketing and promotion; team building; sales management; customer service; credit analysis and scoring; and part time supervision of research thesis/dissertation.

What inspired you to get into this sort of industry?

I was inspired to get into this industry because as a whole I love the corporate environment: it sets work schedules and offers challenging objectives. Besides that, financial institutions and banking offers an assortment of options for the career minded individual. There are many opportunities available within banking.

What qualifications and experience did you have to gain in order to establish yourself and therefore become a professional  within your industry?

I had to do extra studies besides my Bachelors Degree in order to gain a Masters Degree (MBA). In addition to that I had to undergo various training courses like: Negotiation Skills; Leadership and Coaching; Complaint Handling; Unlocking Sales Potential; Anti Money Laundering; Sanctions and Prohibited Business activities; Know Your Customer (KYC); Treating Customers Fairly; Risk and Fraud Investigation; and Portfolio Management.

I also had to attain various work experiences with three dynamic well known big banks in Africa namely: Barclay’s Bank in Zambia, Standard Bank in Malawi and Ecobank in Malawi, where I always met set targets.        

What is the most challenging aspect within your field of work?

The most challenging aspect is adequately providing what a client needs while maintaining an adequate risk profile for the bank.

How do you manage and overcome these challenges?

These challenges are overcome by adhering to laid down procedures and taking a proper risk assessment/scoring on the client.

What has been the highlight of your career?

When I first joined Barclay’s Bank in Zambia, I was just a Sales Officer, then through hard work and having met all my set targets in one year, I was recognized and given a higher role of Team Leader for Sales Executives where I was responsible for a team of  20 sales staff. When I was at Standard Bank as a Customer Consultant, the Head of SME banking recognized my strength in financial analysis and recommended that I be moved to Account Management for SME (as Business Banker). At Ecobank I have brought business that accounts for 40% of the total business in terms of deposits and new accounts with various “well-done” messages from the Managing Director and Head of Domestic Banking.

What could somebody expect to earn within your field at starting level or at trainee level?

They could start with a salary of MK200,000.00 (Eqv USD 625)

What could somebody expect to earn after working within your field after 10 years?

MK450, 000.00 (Eqv USD 1,407)

Who is your role model and why?

My role Model is Nigel Chanakira from Zimbabwe (www.nigelchanakira.com) because he  started small in the financial industry until he founded Kingdom Financial Holdings  group, the leading indigenous financial services group in Zimbabwe through hard work. Nigel has over 17 local and international business awards. The World Economic Forum recognized Nigel as a young Global Leader in 2001.I admire him because I also feel through hard work I can attain higher heights.

What motivates you to work this hard?

What motivates me to work this hard is rewards associated with working hard (Bonuses, awards), recognition (especially that that the MD and Head of Domestic  Banking have been able to recognize my efforts), making a contribution that benefits the whole organization.

What is your outlook within your industry over the next 5 years?

Currently there is a strong requirement by Central Banks that commercial banks adopt the new Basell 2 International Standards. Though most banks are shaken about the requirement, in the next 5 years there will be more entrants in the banking industry because banking business is profitable. There will also be more jobs and opportunities within the industry because of branch expansions and new entrants.

As you know, numerous African countries are being invested in due to their rich minerals. Which country within Africa do you think will be the next hot spot and why?

So far I see many opportunities for investment in Angola because of their rich gold reserves, Mozambique because of the large coal mining activities taking place there, Nigeria because of their oil reserves and huge population that provides good environment for investment, and South Africa because of its gold reserves, tourism and industrialization.

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