Magazine article American Banker

Career Tracks: Banks in Hiring Binge to Feed Appetite for On-Line Services

Magazine article American Banker

Career Tracks: Banks in Hiring Binge to Feed Appetite for On-Line Services

Article excerpt

As banks beef up their operations on the Internet, they are creating employment opportunities for job seekers knowledgeable about on-line commerce and financial services.

Bank hiring for Internet-related jobs is "a big growth area for the future and right now,'' said John Wilson, managing director of financial services at Korn/Ferry International, the world's largest executive recruiting firm. "Larger banks have figured out they will be left behind unless they get with the program quickly,'' said the San Francisco-based headhunter.

Bank One Corp. of Chicago, the nation's fifth-largest banking company, started an Internet-only bank, WingspanBank.com, in June. It has more than 100 employees and plans to hire 300 more by the middle of next year, said Carlo Frappolli, head of human resources at the Wilmington, Del. -based on-line bank.

He said Wingspan looks for workers in three major categories. First are technological people: Web site and software development experts. Wingspan also seeks marketers and sales people. These workers must strike deals with insurers, for example, so that the bank's customers can choose within 20 seconds among five options for life insurance, none of which is necessarily a Bank One product. "Someone has to go to Kemper and Aetna to strike deals,'' Mr. Frappolli said.

Finally, Wingspan needs customer service representatives people on the phone, on-line, and in the back office. "These are the people that make the bank work,'' Mr. Frappolli said.

Wingspan isn't the only bank conducting an on-line hiring spree. PNC Bank Corp. of Pittsburgh said last week that it is adding about 50 workers in on-line banking. This division has grown to cover more than 10% of PNC customers, from less than 4% in 1997. PNC's on-line banking service includes 15-second car and home equity loan approvals. …

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