A banking analyst is a financial professional who takes financial information and studies it to determine what it means and how it should be applied. Companies in the financial services industry usually have in-house analysts to help them move wisely in the financial market, and individuals can also take advantage of baking analysts if they want financial advice and recommendations about how they can strengthen their financial positions. Many banking analysts intend to work their way up the management ranks of the companies they work for, rather than working as analysts for their entire careers.
To become a banking analyst, someone usually needs at least a bachelor's degree in banking, finance, accounting, or a related field. He or she must be prepared to work long hours, and to engage in a great deal of extracurricular work, because there are usually not enough work hours in the day to keep up on the job. For example, banking analysts are expected to keep up with current political news, but they aren't given time at work to watch news broadcasts, listen to the radio, or to read political news, and they must engage in these tasks on their own time.
Banking analysts spend a lot of time on the computer, working with spreadsheets and programs which are designed to process information. They collect information about the performance of the companies they work for, and conduct analysis to make recommendations. Banking analysts can also work as underwriters to determine what their banks should invest in, and they provide advice about buying and selling stocks, administering loans, and other issues which a company may encounter.
In addition to looking at their own companies, a banking analyst also looks at performance of other companies in the industry, especially companies offering comparable services. These comparisons are important because they allow banking analysts to make predictions about the future of the financial services sector, and to take cues from other banks which could be used to shape policy decisions which will benefit their employers. By constructing long term financial models, a banking analyst can also show their clients what he or she is talking about, and manipulate models to demonstrate what various actions will do to the long term future projected by the model.
Paychecks tend to be highest for banking analysts when they work in major financial centers, such as London, Tokyo, and New York City. The bigger the bank, the more complex and detailed the job for a banking analyst, and the better the pay. However, smaller banks in more isolated areas also need the services of banking analysts to help them make sound financial decisions which will keep them solvent, and work in this sector can be interesting for analysts who want to help banks grow and to shape the economic future of small communities.