With over 30 million customers using The Royal Bank of Scotland’s financial services across the globe, the RBS Group is one of the largest companies in the world. Based in Edinburgh, the firm is divided into six main operating arms, which in the UK include the Group’s corporate, insurance and personal division. Global Banking and Markets(GBM) represents the investment banking arm of the RBS Group.
Honest, down to earth, hard working culture.
With over 120,000 employees worldwide and some of banking’s biggest brands under its umbrella, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group has come a long way since being founded by Royal Charter over 280 years ago. Although RBS group accepted bailout funds in the wake of the 2008 financial crash, the group today pulls in global revenues in excess of £30 billion thanks to its six primary operating arms and subsidiaries.
A Look at Divisions & Departments
As the investment banking hub, RBS M&IB (Markets and International Banking) provides financial services and solutions throughout the globe. The Group’s M&IB arm specialises in debt financing, risk management, investment and advisory services, and transaction banking. M&IB provides these services to corporations, governments and financial institutions, servicing its clients from financial centres in six of the world’s regional hubs: London, Stamford, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Sydney. M&IB is subdivided into four major business divisions; Banking, Markets, Technology and Operations.
UK Corporate is the largest provider of banking, finance and risk management services to domestic corporate and commercial customers – from SMEs to UK-based multinationals with global transaction services as its key subsidiary.
The Group also has an EMEA retail and commercial division, similar to its US arm. RBS Group’s products and services are disseminated across Ireland through the Ulster Bank, while the RBS brand takes on these duties in Europe and the Middle East. The Group has a particularly strong presence in Romania, the UAE and Kazakhstan.
Personal Banking is made up of its household retail and business banking names – including its namesake the Royal Bank of Scotland plc, National Westminster Bank (most commonly known as NatWest), Ulster Bank, Drummonds, and Coutts & Co – as well as its wealth management services.
RBS Insurance plays an important role in the RBS machine, with its status as the UK’s number one home and motor policy provider. This division comprises some of the industry’s most recognisable names, including Direct Line, Churchill and its vehicle recovery business, Green Flag.
The Citizens Financial Group and Charter One Bank distribute the Group’s products and services across the US. The former is the 8th largest bank in North America, meaning that US retail and commercial is a vital branch of the RBS tree.
A little bit of history
After operating from one Edinburgh site for the first 50 years, RBS opened a second branch in Glasgow in 1783. Yet, it was only when the bank established a site in London that it began to really expand during the 1870s. RBS first merged with a number of English banks and while London was beginning to swing in 1960, the bank set up a post in New York. The bank continued to acquire, culminating in Britain’s biggest bank takeover with the buyout of NatWest in 2000. RBS then went to smash the record for the world’s biggest bank takeover in 2007, with the acquisition of ABN AMRO. The next year, the bank’s fortune changed and with the financial crisis biting at it heels, RBS Group recapitalised and announced that the British Government (HM Treasury) would take a stake of the Group.
In the UK, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group offers 30 graduate programmes within its Leadership and Professional arm. There is a vast number of opportunities ranging from private banking & advice, global transaction services, security & risk, to communications, wealth management, property services and finance. If you add internship positions on top of that, the Group provides well over 30 schemes for recent graduates and current undergrads. Within GBM, intern and graduate opportunities exist within each of the four business divisions; Banking, Markets, Operations and Technology.
The entry requirements vary by programme, but you will generally have to make sure that your grades live up to the firm’s high expectations. It’s good to know that academic discipline does not matter as much as having a keen interest in finance and business. Apart from a solid academic background, RBS Group is also keen to employ those with strong analytical and organisational competencies. Soft skills are also important and in particular communication, numeracy, negotiation, language and presentation skills.
The Hiring Process
The application process varies between GBM programmes and non-GBM programmes but irrespective of which scheme you apply to, an online application form will kick proceedings off. The application format varies slightly from one programme to another.
With the initial application complete, all applicants should be prepared for psychometric testing – either a reasoning or numerical test, and in some cases both. Sometimes tests can be completed online, but some candidates – including GBM Banking hopefuls – may also be invited to an ability centre where they will have to take these aptitude tests in person. Reasoning tests are designed to check out your problem solving skills whereas numerical tests will probe your ability to work with anything number-related – so you better familiarise yourself with percentages, graphs, tables, etc.
For some programmes, including M&IB Technology, applicants are required to first pass a telephone interview before being invited to an assessment day. The 35-minute telephone interview will screen your motivation levels for the role and questions could focus on your achievements and passions e.g. ‘What are you proud of?’, ‘Tell me of a recent achievement’ or ‘What are you passionate about in life?’
Now it’s time to give yourself a pat on the back – you’ve made it to the assessment centre! This consists of a mix of psychometric tests, situational interviews, group exercises and individual tasks, such as giving a presentation or getting involved in a role play.
For the group exercise, you will work with four to five other candidates and present a proposal to the team which will then be discussed. It’s really important to demonstrate your team people skills here. The presentation will give you 25 minutes to read through a longish case study which you will have to summarise and present on a flip chart in 10 minutes to an assessor – expect some gruelling questions afterwards! Role plays are often based on a business scenario and will see you deal with problems such as having to manage a troublesome colleague.
M&IB Banking and M&IB Technology candidates can breathe a sigh of relief, there’s no final interview! The rest of you unfortunately can’t relax just yet… The final stage is a competency-based interview, which is likely to start with asking you about your career motivation so expect the usual questions such as ‘Why do you want to work for RBS Group?’, or ‘Why have you applied to this particular division?’. The emphasis will be both on the technical and commercial so make sure your business acumen is up to scratch and you know about the firm’s structure. The interviewers will be keen to find out about some of your core competencies such as your leadership, decision making, teamwork and communication qualities. Make sure you come with a long list of examples of when you have led a team and had to deal with a problem, or when you did not manage to stick to a deadline, etc.
Graduate and Internship Programmes
Within M&IB, three of the four graduate programmes last for two years (including Markets, Operations and Technology), however the Banking programme is a three year programme. Each scheme involves a certain number of rotations which you will have to complete within the firm’s various departmental functions. The graduate programme within Markets however is not rotational.
M&IB Internships for penultimate year students run during the summer months for 10 weeks and offer great insight into the business and a head start if you are trying to secure a graduate role ahead of your fellow students. There are also opportunities available for first year students, through RBS’s Spring Week programme. Lasting a week, interns will gain first-hand experience of the bank’s inner workings, and if you make a good impression, you may even be offered a place on the summer scheme the following year! The deadline for both internships is 31st January 2013, and like the graduate schemes, you can apply for positions in one of the four M&IB divisions; Banking, Markets, Technology and Operations.
RBS run a similar programme for their Group Leadership and Professional programmes, main difference being that these internship opportunities close a little later 31/12/2012
RBS Graduate Recruitment Info
Graduate Programme Info:
Approx. graduate hires in 2012-2013: Approximately 700 graduates across the RBS Group
Relevant degree disciplines: All academic disciplines
Length of graduate programme: 2 year programme in GBM Markets, Technology and Operations and a 3 year programme in GBM Banking
Application deadline: 13 November 2013
Approx. intern hires in 2012-2013: Approximately 600 across the RBS Group
Relevant degree disciplines: All Academic Disciplines
Length of Internship: Easter Insight Programme: 1 week | Summer Internship: 10 weeks
Dates of Internships: Easter Insight Programme: April 2013 | Summer Internship: July – September 2013
Application deadline: Easter Insight Programme: 31 January 2013 | Summer Internship Programme: 31 January 2013
No. of employees worldwide: 120,000+
Approx. grad hires in 2012-13: 700 across the RBS Group
Approx. intern hires in 2012-13: 600 across the RBS Group
Analyst: £30,000 - £50,000 (Approx. base)
Business & Commercial Banking
Business Services Leadership
Corporate & Institutional Banking
Corporate Banking Division
Corporate Head Office
Global Restructuring Group
Global Transaction Services
Markets and International Banking
RBS Communications & Marketing
RBS Group (Leadership and Professional):
Security & Risk
I start at 8am and will usually work until 8:30pm on a good day, 10ish if there is a lot of work and past 1am if we have client deadlines.Graduate, LondonHelpful?
I applied online, and was the invited to their assessment centre. I had a one on one interview with a manager in the Tech division, and was mainly asked questions about my competencies and motivations for wanting to join the bank and my interest in technology in banking. The interview lasted about 30 minutes. Then I worked on a logical reasoning test, which was pretty tricky and from talking to others it seems no one managed to finish the test. The entire interview process lasted no more than one and a half hours.Technology, Intern, LondonHelpful?
I am responsible for providing other teams with regular market updates, putting together pitch-books and analysing data. The graduate programme provides you with 6 month placements in 6 different areas of the bank over 3 years. It's a good way to understand how the bank works and develop your skills as a future manager. There is the possibility to an international placement.Graduate, LondonHelpful?
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