Interview with a Swiss Banker on our Specialist English for Banking Course

Swiss Banker Interview

Interview with Franck – Swiss Banker

Recently, a very lovely man Franck from Switzerland came to study with us. Franck works in Banking and had a specific need to increase his language skills in the field of Banking. We asked him at the end of his course if he would talk to us here on the blog and describe why he came and what his course involved, and he very kindly agreed to be interviewed.

Hello Franck, thank you for talking to us, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hello, yes, my name’s Franck and I’m from Switzerland. I live in Zurich and I’m a German speaker.

Franck, what do you do?

I’m a Financial Adviser for a very large Swiss high street bank, I’ve worked for them for about seven years now.

Was this the first company you worked for? And how did you find this job?

Yes, it was. I studied economics at university and then I started as an intern after leaving university. After my internship I was offered the opportunity to continue with the company, I think I was very lucky. I started in the office in Bern first and then after some time, I was transferred to our office in Zurich.

So, what training did you do for this job?

Well, as I said, economics was my interest. I did a Bachelor in Finance and Accounting at a university in Switzerland. After that, I applied for internships at different banks before I got the one here in this company. Since I started my present job I’ve also been on a variety of training courses to make sure that I stay up to date with changes in the fields of finance, banking and accounting. You know, like in many things today, there are regular changes in processes and laws so it is important to be sure your knowledge of the issue is current. It is very easy to end up behind, and if that happens you will have big problems in your job, yes and possibly your career too.

What kind of things do you do in your job?

My main responsibility in my job is to help my clients with their financial needs. This often involves helping them with their investments in shares and how they can manage their tax affairs. It could also mean helping them to plan for their retirement and how to deal with insurance matters. Many of my clients have quite complex financial needs.

Why do you need English?

Because I work in Switzerland, some of my clients are foreign and do not speak German (or French), so it is very important to communicate with them in English. Also, they often do not know the Swiss system, which may be quite different to the system in their countries.

What things has your course focussed on?

The focus has been mostly on business skills, which is very important for my job. We have done work on participating in meetings and teleconferences, making presentations, telephoning and also writing emails. We have also done work on my grammar, which really needed improving. As well as this, my teacher focussed on what I do in my job and helped me with understanding terms I might not have known and the good pronunciation of some items. 

A lot of the language we use is international, but there are sometimes false friends, some that I did not know of, and could really cause problems. I know my job, but sometimes there are problems with the little things, that’s what I needed help with. I also did not have very much confidence to talk in English to people, particularly not in meetings. Because we meet many people here and because we are talking all day in English, now I am feeling a lot more confident to speak English.

How has this course helped you?

I already knew a lot of job vocabulary, though not always how to use it effectively or correctly. This course has given me the confidence to use this language.

Would you recommend this course to someone else in your position?

Absolutely. I really felt that this course was made especially for me, and it went at exactly my pace and my level. I would like to come back for another course if my company gives me permission to do so.

(**Please note we have changed the students’ names due to their companies’ privacy policies.**)

See here for more information on our English for Banking Courses.