The private banking option

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Want to get into private banking? While most graduate training schemes have closed their doors for this year, it's not long until applications for 2009 open...

Brown Shipley

Brown Shipley, which employs 300 people and is part of Belgian group KBC, launched a three-year graduate training programme last September that takes on around six people a year, says marketing strategy director Peter Collier.

Applications for the 2008 programme, which starts in September, closed at the start of the year, but the 2009 programme will start taking applications from September through its website.

It, too, is highly competitive to get on to, with around 300 people applying this year. "We look for people who can service clients and build our business. They need to be able to network and be interested in what people are saying," advises Collier.

Citi Private Bank

For a lucky 10 or so graduates, Citi Private Bank has this year launched a new eight-week internship programme, running from the end of June, says Caroline Hofmeyr, head of professional development, global wealth management, EMEA.

But don't all rush at once because it is already full, she stresses. However, the plan is to expand it for next year.

While exact details of numbers have yet to be finalised, applications will open from September, and graduates should apply through the main Citi graduate careers portal.

"The intention is to give interns, who may (but don't have to be) in their penultimate year, experience of different areas of the business, for example private banking and investment counselling. What we want to do is to build up a graduate pipeline," Hofmeyr explains.


Royal Bank of Scotland-owned Coutts normally takes 12 people onto its two-year full-time private banking graduate development programme, explains Joanna Thorne - 10 into private banking and two into specialist advice.

But competition is fierce, she warns. Some 775 completed applications were received for this year's programme, which kicks off this autumn.

Applications for this year are closed, but the process will start afresh for 2009 from 1 August through the bank's website, with a similar number of candidates expected to be taken on.

Graduates will work in a range of areas, including investment, specialist advice, credit and sales support, and client operations, and may end up located in a number of regional offices, including Bristol, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham or Newcastle.

"Private banking is still a very popular area and very competitive," adds Thorne.


Isle of Man-based Fairbairn Private Bank does not run a formal graduate training scheme but is on the lookout for suitable graduate talent, says marketing executive Lesley Allegro. New hires at the Old Mutual-owned bank are put through a range of internal and external training programmes, she adds.

"We tend to advertise specific vacancies as they become available, and obviously some of these are suitable for graduates," she explains.

"We have, for example, just taken on a graduate as a private banking assistant in our Jersey office. He has no banking experience, but had the correct attitude, values and natural attributes," she adds.

Applications should be made through Fairbairn's website.

HSBC Private Bank

Applications to HSBC Private Bank's 18-month global graduate training programme, which will take on around 25 graduates this October, have closed for this year.

For those looking at 2009, there is a rolling application schedule, so it might be best to apply soon.

Applications should be made online though the Private Bank careers website.

Successful applicants will do three six-month rotations in different regions, including London. Geneva, New York, Hong Kong or Singapore. Graduates have also in the past done rotations in locations as diverse as Sydney, Dubai, Paris, Miami and Los Angeles.

Each rotation will be within a product team, a relationship manager's team and an infrastructure-type role.

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