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How much math do bankers do?

I am curious about what levels of mathematics I have to take to prepare my financial career.#banks


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Farah’s Answer

As bankers serving clients in financial centers or branches, we're fortunate enough that our tools and applications have come a long way when it comes to the kind of math clients need on a day to day basis. For example, if a client has questions on mortgage payment breakdowns, or transaction history, we're able to use internal resources to find account averages, payment sums, number of withdrawals, and more.

Personally, I would say I don't really have to do a lot of analytical math or use complex formulas in the branch in my client facing role. Rather, being able to communicate clearly and listen actively and effectively are much more important. My key focus is to make sure I understand what the client is asking, and being able to clearly answer their question or concern using the resources available in branch and recommending the right services for them.

Though if you're interested in more advanced banking like investment banking, financial analysis and the equations for market analysis are much more complex and require a strong understanding and founding of key math concepts like algebra and statistics. When you enroll in Finance courses, you'll find there are different formulas for valuation of stocks and bonds. This was not my focus in Undergrad but I took one Finance course before I realized I-Banking was not for me.

I hope this helps!

Farah recommends the following next steps:

Basic Math - For entry level branch banking
Focus on developing strong communication skills
Strong mathematical and analytical skills for more complex banking (investment, commercial, lending)

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Sean’s Answer

The level of math is directly dependent on the level of banking you aspire to be in. Retail banking requires some mathematical skills, but most of it is done for you. Business banking will require a higher degree of math skills to conduct cash flow analysis, efficiency ratios, and financial statement analysis. Investment banking requires the most extensive level of mathematical skills along with proper forecasting and financial modelling skills.


Getting your foot in the door in banking will allow you to learn as you go rather than trying to drink from a fire hose. As you progress through your career, you will find yourself being asked to take on more complex situations.


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Pratiksha’s Answer

Hi Tumas R.

Well I would say only the basic maths they will be doing not very advanced level.
These days tools are available for making massive calculations & other things. It's not that you have to be an expert in calculations. Having said that you should have proper logical understanding on your daily work but you don't need to calculate each & everything manually. My husband is a banker & trust me he is an average student in maths, I do calculations faster than him.
You just have to understand the methods & have the basic understanding of how things are calculated.
So don't worry if you are not very much on the calculations front.
Thanks!

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Christopher’s Answer

We do a lot of math!

We have to count cash and coins back to clients, we need to calculate monthly payments on loans, and we need to figure out how much interest is due to a client at the end of each month.

It is a lot of fun.

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Shijie’s Answer

For investment banker, we dealt with math on a daily basis, mostly in some forms of valuation, financial statements, and other number metrics. Note, you do not necessarily have to know how to solve calculus or stats problems to be a good banker. However, I would say having those skill sets is a good training and process for you to build critical thinking and problem solving skills, which will benefit your career further down the road.

Shijie recommends the following next steps:

read more news about one / two particular industries you would like to learn
learn how to communicate with different kinds of people
study hard :)

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Kyle’s Answer

There is a lot of math within the banking industry. However, we have tools on our computers to do the math for us (excel, computer applications, etc.). The important thing bankers must understand are the financial concepts behind the math. If you are thinking of going into the banking industry, you should familiarize yourself with these concepts (time-value of money, internal rate of return, cash flows, capital structuring (debt and equity), etc). To learn these concepts, its best to study Finance and/or Accounting in high school/college.


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Jessica’s Answer

Bankers do not necessarily need math per say. I worked for a large financial industry and our systems were design to calculate everything for you. However, it is important to have basic math understanding.

A Bankers main role is to manage day to day sales of the financial center.


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Will’s Answer

By definition banking is math, however most of it is done through tools and applications. I think it becomes more important to be able to input the variables into the applications, read the results and determine if components are missing. What you'll find is the answer created by the program is only as good as the inputs used. Most of the work I do is making sure the data points going into the equations are accurate so that the answer that comes back is accurate.

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Jacob’s Answer

Believe it or not, not a lot of high level math. Usually a system can do it for you, but if you can figure out how much a customer could save if doing x y and z, that will help you in your career. You may need to know how to calculate interest rates and how that affects rate of return va money in stocks and bonds, or how that affects loans, but there is not a lot of math involved. It is mainly people skills and networking

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Megan’s Answer

As a banker, I do a few calculations regularly. Those calculations include figuring how much lendable equity a person may have in their home, a possible payment schedule for lending, and what a payment might look like with specific interests and amount to lend. Most of the calculations I do are also available in a tool with the programs I use, which makes it very easy for me.

Megan recommends the following next steps:

Learn about equity
What does it take to get credit and how do you build it?
What is an interest rate versus an interest yield?

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lq’s Answer

As a banker, I only did basic calculations and I always used a calculator & computer software. As a banker it's best to understand how money works and learn how to explain those concepts to other people. Learning those skills will come in handy more than being a math Whiz.

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Rebecca’s Answer

There are many different sectors in banking industry. The bankers in financial markets or Funds may apply more advanced math knowledge, e.g. develop the math models for different investment vehicles. Banks in other areas , e.g. Corporate Banking, Business Planning, etc. , they may need to calculate on valuation, financial projection, etc.

Nowadays, there are a lot of sophisticate software tools available. Having said that, the banker still needs to possess the relevant knowledge.

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Victoria’s Answer

From my experience, used on a daily basis, preparing my cash register balance sheet for ending my day.

Victoria recommends the following next steps:

Basic Math, General Math

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Anthony’s Answer

Most interactions with clients require very little math. However, conceptually a strong foundation in basic arithmetic and understanding how to determine the correct data inputs into financial engines for calculating interest, cost of inflation, loan payments ect. will suffice. Banking (retail level /customer service) is less about math and more about teaching, communicating effectively, and sales. We spend most of our days having conversations with clients to better understand their household or small business needs/goals and present /recommend our respective Company’s solutions to the client. Banking can be highly personally rewarding when you realize you have the tools to make a difference in a family’s life. All that being said, there are so many avenues to pursue in “Banking” beyond being a “banker” which I’m sure require significantly higher level math than the duties of my role with SunTrust.

Thank you for the question ! Stay Curious my friend!



Anthony, I appreciate your interest, continue to seek out helpful tools, to make a good decision. Victoria Miranda

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