Major Roles in Banking



Banking operations (Ops) serve as a back office function responsible for reconciliation and the execution and settlement of transactions originating in the front office. Trade booking and adherence to risk and regulatory guidelines are important roles of Ops. Customer onboarding is another key function. Internal support functions such as HR, IT and risk management also have their own Ops teams. Ops therefore serve both external customers and internal users.

Major job responsibilities

The tasks performed in an Ops role depend on which front office or middle office function it is supporting.

Loan operations
  • Assist in the corporate and retail banking business process and settle loans, including collateral management.
  • Ensure adherence to regulatory and control limits.
  • Onboard new customers to the core banking systems and help with customer exits.
  • Report on the work status.
Branch operations
  • Handle cash, couriers and security.
  • Manage ATMs and cash vaults.
  • Monitor transactions and check for signs of money laundering.
  • Input data.
Treasury operations
  • Book and settle trades, confirm trades and conduct reconciliations.
  • Effect payments and settlements.
  • Provide valuations to external auditors and customers or the back office of counterparties, along with other reporting functions.
  • Obtain prices from external providers for middle office market-to-market calculations.
Trade support operations
  • Issue and transmit trade finance documentation.
  • Verify and maintain custody of incoming documentation.
  • Execute and settle trades, including confirmations and reconciliations.
Risk operations
  • Ensure data used by risk teams is accurate and complete.
  • Clean data and populate databases with consistent data.
Technological operations
  • Provide data to system implementation teams.
  • Participate in IT projects.
HR operations
  • Process payroll and leave management systems.
  • Handle new employee onboarding, documentation and due diligence.
  • Produce HR reports and maintain HR systems.

Relevant professional qualifications

Professional Qualifications under HKMA’s Enhanced Competency Framework:

Other banking qualifications issued by the HKIB:

Important skills and knowledge

Diligence, commitment and self-motivation
Good communication skills and teamwork
IT skills
  • Ability to manage software for risk management, document retrieval and interbank communications (SWIFT)
Role-specific skills
  • Product knowledge relevant to investment banking and treasury support teams
  • Analytical ability to handle numerical data
  • Ability to understand impact and significance of risk metrics

A day in the life of an
Operations Specialist

Operations specialists who are not working at the branch should expect to spend the day at their desks.

Perform predetermined tasks in a structured manner.
Use special software to make sure transactions are processed and executed within specified terms and timelines.
Address ad hoc requests.

Typical career path

Operations teams are usually very large and diverse. Therefore, many managerial roles are available for further progress.

Ops team members rarely move into frontline roles, but do tend to move up within Ops.

Ops team leaders can progress from managing small teams to increasingly bigger teams and then to large teams.

Ops specialists may also get the opportunity to work overseas at offshore operations centres, or to supervise offshore functions.