What Is the Typical Organizational Structure of a Bank?

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  • Written By: Geri Terzo
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 14 May 2020
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The organizational structure of a bank typically includes one top executive who is further supported by other senior members of the staff. In a retail bank, the structure typically is separated by the various functions, ranging from electronic banking services to customer service and managers of particular divisions. An institutional bank is often highly segmented, with senior managers leading each division.

Investment banks are often global and are among the largest financial institutions. The organizational structure of a bank in this segment of financial services is therefore often multifaceted and complex. A chief executive officer (CEO) typically heads all of the bank's operations, although there are other top members, including a chief financial officer (CFO) and multiple managing directors who are appointed to support the role of the CEO. There also is a board of directors to influence the operational strategy of a bank and to keep the best interest of shareholders in mind. Another series of divisions, including risk compliance, investment banking and trading, also contribute to the bank's organizational structure.

Front office operations of an institutional bank, such as an investment bank, include job tasks that require direct communication with clients. These functions might include wealth management, the trading of financial securities or investment banking services. In these divisions, profits are generated by the sales activities performed by these investment professionals. The organizational structure of a bank can extend to middle office services. In this segment, professionals oversee risk management procedures and ensure that a financial institution's practice remains in compliance with regulatory standards.

Back office personnel are another organizational segment of an institutional bank. Professionals in this section offer support to the front-office personnel. These individuals might be involved with risk management but also perform the functions that keep the internal operations of a bank running properly, such as accounting and personnel management.

In a retail bank setting, where individual account holders make deposits, the organizational structure of a bank has fewer channels. Like an investment bank, there typically is a CEO who is the head of the organizational structure. Other top executives include a head of retail banking in addition to a branch network lead professional. A manager also is designated to oversee electronic transactions that occur in a bank, and this part of operations might be grouped as part of the information technology division. Marketing operations might be included as part of customer service initiatives.

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