Shaping and safeguarding the banking industry

  • 21 December 2020
  • Blog | Career Development | Blog

As Bangor University and the Institute celebrate 10 years of the Chartered Banker MBA, three graduates share their views on the knowledge and skills they believe will be important for professional bankers after COVID-19.  

One of the leading business schools in Europe, Bangor University runs the only qualification in the world that combines an MBA and Chartered Banker status. It provides graduates with the skills and professional competencies necessary to thrive in the rapidly evolving financial services environment. 

As the world begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions necessary to prevent the virus from overwhelming us, there are significant economic and social challenges ahead. Professional bankers have stepped up to support colleagues, customers and clients through the darkest days of the pandemic, but the next challenge is to ensure that recovery is robust and sustainable.  

The skill to adapt to change 

Tanya Cecile McCartney, CBMBA graduate and CEO and Executive Director of the Bahamas Financial Services Board, explains how the ability to blend practical experience with deep insight in the form of the qualification was her incentive to study at Bangor and it’s a combination that is crucial to bankers being open to the change that COVID-19 and its aftermath has created.  

“Resilience or adaptability will be of critical importance,” she says. “The way that we deliver service in the post COVID-19 environment will be different from what we are accustomed to. Professional bankers must be adaptable and open to learning new skills especially when it comes to using technology. Leadership skills will be imperative as organisations navigate change for long term growth and sustainability.” 

Technology and leadership skills are also called out by fellow graduate, Rafiat Onitiri, Founder and CEO, Athrol Empowerment Solutions, as being absolutely critical to success in the banking industry post COVID-19. One of the big changes, she says, is to the new ways of working: “Management skills will need to adapt to effectively coordinate the workforce working remotely,” she explains, adding that her own experience of the blended learning to complete the CBMBA has provided an insight into the benefits and challenges of flexible working. 

Preparing the professionals of the future 

Established in 2011, in a period during which the banking industry was under intense scrutiny following the Global Financial Crisis, the CBMBA programme has helped to establish trust in the sector and underpin the professionalism of those achieving the Institute’s qualifications. The past decade has been one of rapid change across technology, customer expectations and, latterly of course, the pressure of the pandemic. As Ian Hardcastle, Chief Operating Officer at Real Life Option, explains, the experience gained as part of the CBMBA course has been invaluable in navigating these changes. 

“Professional bankers of today are operating in an environment of changing customer behaviours and demands and market landscape,” he says. “Whether supporting personal or business customers, understanding the banking environment, the strategic choices that banks have and the impact of those strategic choices on customers, colleagues, regulators, competitors and the environment is fundamental to being successful. The CBMBA programme allows students to explore these key influencing factors in detail and helps prepare them for these challenges.” 

More information on the CBMBA programme can be found here