Finance professionals should give themselves a head start towards their career goals with Professional Banking Fundamentals.
The whole industry can get to grips with the basics of the business of banking as well as filling in the gaps they have in their skill sets by enrolling on the PBF.
That’s the message from Bendigo and Adelaide Bank graduate Branislav Zivanovic G FIN who spoke to InFinance about the course as we approach the anniversary of its launch.
He said: “It's a course that’s well worth considering for professionals in this space.
“It is designed to aid banking professionals in developing their career goals and in understanding the underlying fundamentals of banking principles.
“For me the one thing that was also an add-on, within the course, was a set of principles and the values - the code of conduct that FINSIA adheres by.
“We had a whole chapter which was valuable.”
The fact that course is relevant to day-to-day life at the bank is crucial, he says.
“When you are in that customer-facing lending space, you can relate to the content, which is what you want.
“It is all well and good to debate theoretical concepts, but unless you can make that connection with the material it’s difficult to connect the dots
“The key to banking is being relevant. That is really the way things are going in my opinion.
“It doesn't matter if it's your own set of skills or if it's the product’s attributes, in banking today it is about being relevant. And that's the way the FINSIA material fits in.
“Where the course was of help to me was as a refresher on risk topics, but it was also a bit when you're learning opportunity on topics such as company structures of which I wasn’t really familiar with. It's a nice compliment to my daily role.
“And it makes you realise how little you know in some areas. So it’s a good eye opener."
But it isn’t just the exercise of going through the course that is relevant, he added, explaining: “You can see the benefits of the course, other than the material itself.
“It is a network, it is a professional membership, and being relevant and present in that space is value in itself.”
Continually learning and investing in people, knowledge and data are the “greatest assets in any company”, according to Branislav. Which is why access to a range of courses is crucial.
He says: “Where FINSIA sort of fits in is it really provides the candidates with the opportunity to up skill in their perspective areas of interest.
"I've done the PBF course, the fundamentals, but I know that your institute and you guys offer other courses that can aid the professional.
“It’s not only refreshing knowledge, but staying relevant with the values, code of conduct and up skilling.
“Whether it's risk management or lending specific roles, that's where the course fits in. Look, it's the way the industry's heading and I think it's the right direction.”
Although he was one of the highest scorers so far, the financial markets analyst said the PBF isn’t an easy ride. But he recognises that having to keep up to date with aspects of the business that are unfamiliar is something that should be a top priority for professionals.
He says it is challenging having to learn about unfamiliar aspects of the job. But the benefit is to “solidify that knowledge” on things like product features, elements on insurance, setting deposit and lending products, LMI, risk management framework aspects as well as on some aspects of new updated APRA requirements such as on net stable funding ratio or liquidity coverage ratio, etc.
“Remembering some of these details sometimes does feel a bit overwhelming and challenging at times, but it helps solidify that knowledge that you need in your job. Though the fact you’re in the job helps with the PBF.
“The course complimented my own learning curve on the job. It wasn't too much of a deviation from my daily job, in a way that if I was studying say fashion or media for example which is quite different to what I do on a daily basis.”
Expanding on the career boosting potential of the course, Branislav said: “It’s clearly useful to financial institution employees in different areas.
“Whether you're looking to change roles or whether you're looking to up-skill in an area that might be relevant to you, or might not necessarily be your day-to-day job, enrolling on the PBF is a good way towards that goal.
“You might be working data analytics but want to learn more about a product, for example. Or you might be working in legal. Your job is to write terms and conditions for credit card, it helps to understand how the credit card works for example.
“In that sense, it has applications across different areas and different departments