Mr. Jim Obinabo is an investor relations and portfolio investment banker with United Bank for Africa.
He shares with us his experience in the banking industry and from his well of wisdom about the banking industry, dishes out advice to aspiring bankers.
DA: What inspired you to go into banking?
Mr. Jim: My dad (Prince Fred Obinabo) remains the first banker I knew and he definitely was one of the reasons I went into banking. The banking sector for me is one of the most highly regulated and professional segments from a Nigerian economy perspective which I find very intriguing till date.
DA: Most fresh graduates decide to work in banks, not because they are passionate about it but because they couldn’t find any other job. What’s your advice on this issue?
Mr. Jim: Banking feels like a boring job with the absence of passion; however the learning experience is unbelievable if you take the job serious and this unique experience and knowledge will be an arsenal for you in future endeavors.
Banking requires high level commitment, hard-work, integrity, dedication, professionalism and many other qualities; simply means the sector isn’t for ‘jokers’.
DA: What are the risks and challenges that prospective bankers should expect when working in the industry?
Mr. Jim: Challenges will be the bad and negative vibes spread by less successful colleagues who tell sad stories rather than inspiring ones.
The pressure in the banking industry is intense because it is highly competitive and second position is not an option especially at UBA PLC.
We always have to be on top of our game to give our esteemed customers the confidence to keep banking with us.
Risks are present in all industries but I will say since the banking sector deals with money mistakes are likely to be more fatal and attract huge consequences which include legal cases and even jail time in cases of fraud both knowingly and unknowingly. Undiluted integrity will definitely get you over the line so there is nothing to be scared about.
DA: What has been your greatest achievement so far and how has your career shaped your life?
Mr. Jim: Banking has disciplined my life in all ramifications and my bosses have stressed on the importance of customer service which is an integral part of banking. The best is truly yet to come!
DA: What do you do daily to improve yourself and who are your mentors?
Mr. Jim: I try as much as possible to read financial articles, CBN circulars to keep myself up to date with regulatory requirements, follow the NSE and World Business News on a daily basis and many more. In other words, Macroeconomics is an integral part of banking
My mentor is Mr. Abiola Rasaq; he is a leader, a senior brother and a genius. I learn daily from this man and I am blessed to have such a wonderful boss.
DA: What is your advice to youths generally?
Mr. Jim: Concentrate in school to earn a good grade so you are given the opportunity to walk through the front door, after that, you have to keep improving yourself.
It is no more an employee’s market but an employer’s market, this is because of the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria. However you can call the shots in an interview if you have equipped yourself and added a lot of value to your career.