Stress In Banking Industry Essay

1699 words - 7 pages

Money is the lifeblood of the world and therefore, the employees of financial institutions must face an unmeasurable level of stress from time to time. In this essay, I’ll discuss the main reasons that contribute the stress in the banking industry (particularly in the UK), the effects of stress on different parties and how the financial institutions and individuals somehow manage to reduce the stress resulted from their workload.
In commercial banking, one of the most typical reasons that lead to high stress is that the staff must (by any means) manage to meet the daily sales target in selling financial products to customers. Hilary Osborne (2013) reports how a staff member at Halifax described how stressful the sales culture there is, with “sales targets are everywhere” and “throughout the day, staff discuss how much they have sold and how they can sell more”. Specifically, there were around four meetings in a Halifax branch a day, discussing which products will be sold to which customers, which staff claimed left them quite “disheartened and demotivated” because “how can you know a customer's needs without ever speaking to them?”. If the customers available at the branch don’t buy much financial products, staff will need to “call existing customers about the potential products they could want”. All sales will be translated into points and since each branch has to make roughly 5,000 points a day, “pressure is put on staff again to find more points from customers before 5pm”.
Things are even worse in investment banking. One former banker comments on the workload in investment banking: “It's insane because even under normal conditions you could be clocking in 100-plus hours per week. Often I'd suddenly get up out of bed an hour or more early. I dreamt about Excel files and PowerPoint” (Luyendijk 2012). Not to mention that investment banking is an industry full of uncertainty and one must get used to the fact that "every day you're getting closer to getting fired", as he/she is not only competing to secure a place in the organization surrounded by people with PhD-level knowledge, but also with all the young and talent outsiders who are looking for their own places in this risky but attractive industry. One example of this highly competitive environment is that according to Joshi Herrmann (2013), Golman Sachs received over 17,000 applications for 350 summer internship places in investment banking – all fully aware that the long-hour working culture is awaiting them and ready to take the seats of any officers when the chance comes. In addition, “the life of a junior banker is one of the last forms of legalized slavery. It is a gruelling survival of the fittest existence defined by all-nighters, no time to eat well or to exercise, and compensation that has remained flat for a number of years.”, claims by Roy Cohen, the author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide, in an article of Beecher Tuttle (2014). Those are the reasons that lead to...

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