THE GLITTERS IN SPREADSHEET: BANKING REDEFINED

Mr. jim Obinabo is an investor relations and portfolio investment banker with united bank for Africa, he shares with us his experience in the banking industry and from his well of wisdom about the banking industry, dishes out advice to aspiring bankers.

DA: What inspired you to go into banking?
Mr. Jim: My dad was the major pacesetter in my career, and I was equally intrigued by how regulated and professional the sector is in comparison with other sectors in the Nigerian economy.


DA: Most fresh graduates decide to work in banks, not because they are passionate about it but because they couldn’t find any other job. What’s your advice on this issue?
Mr. Jim: Banking feels like a boring job with the absence of passion; however there is a lot of knowledge to be gained from the banking industry even if you dont want a long-term career in it. Banking requires high level commitment, hard-work, integrity and many other qualities. This is why you really need to be sure when making a career choice to be a banker.


DA: What are the risks and challenges that prospective bankers should expect when working in the industry?
Mr. Jim: Challenges will be the bad and negative vibes spread by unsuccessful colleagues who always make you feel like the bank is cheating you, also, the pressure in the banking industry is intense because it is highly competitive and 2nd position is not an option. We always have to be on top of our game to give our esteemed customers the confidence to keep banking with us.
Risks are present in all industries but I will say since the banking sector deals with money mistakes are likely to be more fatal and attract huge consequences which include legal cases and even jail time in cases of fraud both knowingly and unknowingly. Undiluted integrity will definitely get you over the line so there is nothing to be scared about.


DA: What has been your greatest achievement so far and how has your career shaped your life?
Mr. Jim: Banking has disciplined my life in all ramifications and the best is definitely yet to come.


DA: What do you do daily to improve yourself and who are your mentors?
Mr. Jim: I try as much as possible to read financial articles, CBN circulars to keep myself up to date with regulatory requirements and many more. Macro economics is a very integral part of banking because what goes on in the economy has a huge effect in the industry. My mentor is Mr. Abiola Rasaq, He is not just my boss, he has mentored me effectively in the industry and the insights gained from him have been tremendous.

DA: What is your advice to youths generally?
Mr. Jim: Concentrate in school to earn a good grade so you are given the opportunity to walk through the front door, after that, you have to keep improving yourself.
It is no more an employees market but an employers market, this is because of the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria. However you can call the shots in an interview if you have equipped yourself and added a lot of value to your career.

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