Банкеръ Weekly



The qualified financial labour market is warming up this spring. While winter months are conducive to calm down managers reasoning and decisions, the coming summer and the more favourable economic conditions forced bank managers to start considering both expansion and widening the variety of their financial services. Beside a winning concept, new buildings and office equipment, however, they mainly need good banking experts for this purpose. Offers for attractive positions in the whole banking sector flooded the newspapers and the specialized Internet sites in the last month.
It turned out, however, that most qualified financiers have left the country long ago or are working for foreign companies. Some banks were forced to extend the application term as their managers seemed not satisfied with the quality of the applicants. Undoubtedly, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) made the most attractive offer. The bank searched for a director in Bulgaria on the new programme supporting small and medium-sized enterprises as well as consulting companies in this sector. Apart from Bulgarian citizenship and perfect knowledge of the English language, applicants should also have serious managing experience in a big financial programme.
EBRD is also looking for a manager to plan the activity on the programme and to collaborate with the interested companies. The third open position in EBRD was for administrative director. The deadline for submitting documents expired on May 28. The procedure of choosing approved bankers is expected to finish in a month and a half. The EBRD Sofia-based office informed that details on the programme could only be available after the Sofia office was set up.
Another open position in the bank is for a regional director for Southeast Europe and Caucasus who will operate in Sofia. The substitute of the previous director, Mr. Olivier Descamps, will be chosen among top-qualified experts who have proved their bank qualification and managing skills. Applicants should have worked in a commercial or investment bank for at least 12 years, should have graduated at a prestigious university in their home country and should also possess diplomatic and professional working style.
The open positions in Bulgarian banks are as attractive as they are in the foreign ones. The competition organized by the Bulgarian Post Bank (BPB) for head of the Corporate Banking Department finished in the end of May. The director is expected to optimize customers' service and to develop investment banking products. Applicants should have at least two-year experience on a similar position, a solid financial or economic background and an excellent knowledge of the English language. The expansion of BPB in the country urged hiring more auditing experts in three directions - the Liquidity and the Finance departments as well as the bank's branch office in Sofia and the country. The previous campaign for hiring auditors in BPB was carried out in the late 2000, but obviously the financial institution imposes serious requirements.
The announcement of SG Expressbank was the hit on the labour market in May. The bank needed to employ experts to work with customers in its newly-established branch offices. It required a university degree and experience in attracting clients.
The other banks in the country searched for qualified staff for their offices too. The National Bank of Greece announced an open position for a crediting inspector. First Investment Bank needed currency and capital dealers, Unionbank spent a lot of time in estimating candidates for the position of an Internal Control officer, Teximbank was in need of an accounting methodologist, and Raiffeisenbank - of an accountant with at least 3-year experience in a foreign credit institution.
Despite the numerous free banking positions in the country, experts find this market niche extremely tight. Frequently, banks announce open positions rather to advertise themselves. Eventually, the experts they hire appear to be old fellows of their key managers. On the other hand, the high requirements posed to the candidates limit the number of experts who apply for these positions.

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