Is yours a Very Responsible Job?

People who work in the banking and finance sector can find themselves handling very large amounts of money. Do they feel a huge sense of responsibility about this?

"If you get something wrong it can quickly cost an awful lot of money."

Many of the jobs that people do in the modern banking environment involve them handling very large sums of money, almost always money which does not belong to them. A trader might be handling millions of pounds of money or assets belonging to an individual investor, or a group of investors or another business such as a pension fund. How would you feel about doing that? Have you thought about the consequences if you got it very wrong?

The reality of this kind of work is not quite like that of course. Our bankers told us that they do not handle the actual money or assets of investors. More often than not what they are doing is giving advice to the investor about how to invest their money wisely. Of course, they can still get that wrong and that might cost investors a lot of money, if, for instance, markets go down instead of up. It is also clear that bankers never handle actual cash. In the modern world of banking all of these assets exist in electronic form only.

What all of our bankers made clear is that nobody takes these kind of financial decisions, or even gives advice about a possible transaction, without consulting a whole range of other experts in their company. At ING a trader would discuss the potential sale or investment with other traders, with brokers, with experts in the particular part of the world where the trade might be done and with their managers who have a wealth of experience in this kind of work.