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Major Functional Areas of the Banking Industry - Retail Banking

Introduction

Conventionally, scholars and practitioners have advocated different methods to construct a competency model. For instance, there is task-based approach in which competencies for successful performance of each task are identified. On the other hand, in a skill-based approach, there is a set of common ¡§Knowledge, Skills and Abilities¡¨ which can be applied across different jobs.

Nevertheless, the present era is marked by volatility and speedy changes. The environment, business strategies and organizational structures are changing in a pace which is faster than the workforce can respond. Accordingly, the jobs / tasks of a worker are becoming more fluid than ever before: tasks that an individual is performing today may be eliminated or replaced tomorrow, thus skills that a worker possessed now may turn out to be obsolete in the near future. Therefore, some researchers posited that a more fluid method which is more adaptable to changes than the conventional tasks/skills based approach of job analysis should be adopted. Moreover, the present project is to construct an industry-wide competency framework, considering the diverse structures (e.g. centralization vs. decentralization), products and internal processes across different banks, a more flexible basis which can be generalized to different types of bank is called for. Therefore, in order to construct a framework which is adaptable and can stand with frequent changes in the work environment, as opposed to task-based or skill-based classification adopted in the traditional job analysis, the present study will first outline the major functional areas of the retail banking sector. Competencies needed to perform each of the functional areas successfully will be identified at the subsequent stages. Functional areas, defined as the major activities performed by a bank, is generic and are not bounded by existing structures, it can largely enhance the applicability to different banks and is furnished with a forward looking perspective.

Before the construction of functional areas, PEST scan was conducted to assess the environment which the Retail Banking industry is embedded in.The PEST scan has identified the future thrusts of retail banking sector which have important implications on the major functions that the sector will be performing. On top of that, after a series of consultation and benchmarking, the 10 core functional areas are identified based on the following principles:

  • Significance to the business or operational functions of a retail bank
  • Frequency of performing the functions
  • Applicability to core job families of retail banking
  • Importance to the continuous development of Hong Kong as an International Financial Center
  • Compatibility to the SCS framework of other industries hence to facilitate cross industry mobility and benchmarking

Major Functional Areas

The major functional areas introduced in the following section covers the core business and operation functions in the Retail Banking sector. They can be generally grouped under the four dimensions exhibited below based on the nature of their individual function:

  1. Service Delivery Channel;
  2. Internal Management;
  3. Product Design and Architecture; and
  4. Business Acquisition and Customer Relationship Management

At the present stage, the major functional areas are not aiming at an exhaustive inclusion of all job related capabilities required of the banking practitioners, rather, the major functional areas are intended to cover only the core retail banking activities and defined broadly in general terms which serve as a basis for further expansion into a functional matrix at the later stages of the project. Detailed competencies can be found in the functional matrix developed later.

Cascaded from the above four dimensions, ten functional areas have been identified in Retail Banking sector, namely

  1. Retail Banking Service Delivery
  2. Retail Banking Operations and Support
  3. Credit Management
  4. Compliance and Risk Management
  5. Technology Management
  6. Product Development and Brand Marketing
  7. Quality Management
  8. Sales and Relationship Management
  9. Strategic Business Development and General Management
  10. Other Generic Functional Areas

 

Note:

The SCS has been moderated by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) to ensure consistency of QF level across industries.

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