Big pay-offs for hard-working, motivated credit analysts in financial services

Lebohang Nthongoa

Lebohang Nthongoa

South Africa's banks are having a tough time finding skilled and knowledgeable people to join their credit analysis team. The team's job is to study private and business clients' financial and operational information in order to evaluate their creditworthiness. Entering this market could prove highly lucrative because banks are doing their utmost to retain the best skills.

Kabelo Chaane, 27, is a credit analyst for Absa Corporate and Business Banking. He has a BCom in financial management from the University of the Free State.

His role within the credit department of the bank involves assessing the risk profile of corporate clients. This entails analysing information provided to him by business analysts and bank executives and making credit lending decisions.

He also monitors clients' performance on a regular basis and provides whatever advice may be needed by clients to turn around their financial positions.

Chaane says that no two days are the same for a credit analyst and there are plenty of tight deadlines that he has to meet because the financial livelihoods of businesses depend on his decisions.

Credit analysts need to be organised and Chaane ensures that his day is well-structured. Since there are no set working hours, Kabelo always has to make sure he meets his deadlines, even if it means working late.

To make it as a credit analyst Chaane says you need to be motivated and driven because the prospect of moving up the corporate ladder is great.

"I am a very impatient person, so waiting for things to happen without making them happen does not work for me. If I see an opportunity to move up, then I grab it," he says.

People like Chaane, who are set on making it in the industry, are generally very hard working, go beyond doing what is required of them and continuously strive to prove themselves. They also have the confidence and power to negotiate.

A finance degree with accounting is crucial to entering the sector and the more qualified and experienced you are, the better your chances of advancing in the industry.

You need to be the kind of person who can strike a balance between being tough and sticking to any decision you make, and having great people skills.

You also have to be able to voice your opinions and motivate those opinions should you need to.