☰ Menu eFinancialCareers

VSO not keen on bankers

Lost your job in banking and decided to commit some time to the general good? VSO is probably not the place to do it.

Although The Times says VSO is in dire need of additional volunteers because its existing candidates are getting cold feet about mortgage payments and re-employment, ex-bankers are not being asked to fill the gap.

We called VSO to enquire whether they are benefitting from the flood of highly skilled, highly intelligent financial services staff coming onto the market.

The answer appears to be no. A spokeswoman for the organisation confirmed that applications from financial services types have already gone up in the past few months and the last thing they need is even more of the same.

“We have 1,000 placements a year, but only 10 of them are for people with a financial services background. Most of the jobs are very low-level work, like encouraging a business in Ghana to save its receipts,” she says.

Instead of former bankers, most VSO roles go to teachers and health workers. The organisation also offers 250 ‘business and management’ positions a year, but most of these apparently go to people who’ve previously worked in the public sector or for a charity.

It’s not all doom. The spokeswoman said ex-bankers might be of interest if only they had experience of a “broader range of management skills, such as strategic planning, establishing and managing systems, managing staff and monitoring and evaluation”.

We pointed out that this might well be the case. So, if you’re truly committed to applying, it’s probably best to emphasise your managerial attributes before reeling off all the deals you’ve worked on recently.

Comments (8)

  1. And here dawnth the age when charities become arrogant and picky, or is it just that thinking of oursleves as masters of the universe has meant we have lost touch with the society we live in and we have become thought of as so utterly useless outside our defined little silo? Perhaps if VSO were looking to teach Ghanaians the skills of office politics, management by email,building mega spreadsheets because it’s interesting, back stabbing, presenteeism and bonus management, then we might be useful.

  2. Hmm Wizard you speak so wisely!

  3. this article goes to highlight the ignoran stereotypes people outside of banking have of the sector and those within. This is typified by the extract…

    ‘The spokeswoman said ex-bankers might be of interest if only they had experience of a “broader range of management skills, such as strategic planning, establishing and managing systems, managing staff and monitoring and evaluation”. ‘

    Do those in VSO’s (who feel they are in a position to pass judgement on bankers and their skill sets) even know what the skillset of a banker is?

    Firstly, they need to be educated on the many different type of “banking” roles out there. Secondly they need to engage their brains a little and think about the different types of skills those different type of bankers need, to conduct the deals they have been involved in.

    What these apparantly arrogant VSOs will find is that all of the skills which they feel are so sacred, are infact the bread and butter of any good banker. E.g. Management Skills in particular form the basis of any competent M&A banker’s skill set – not to mention the plethora of other skills at which they must be proficient, which are deeper and broader than any VSO person

  4. …and so deepens the arrogance of the banker. ‘How can the mere VSO underrate the skillset of us Masters of the Universe?’
    I have no doubt that some bankers could be very successful outside of the City or Wall St. but most are so full of themselves, so unable to build relationships with anyone else apart from those with equally high opinions of themselves, that they actually wouldn’t be that successful (or sought after).
    What bloody good is creating mega-spreadsheets when you are trying to build a company from scratch? That’s true commercialism – ‘creating’ something – building a company, creating jobs etc etc. Not putting some stupidly complex spreadsheet together.
    Personally I would much rather be CEO of a company and take it from scratch to floatation.

  5. BRTC – you have misread Wizard of EC1 ‘s comments. He didn’t say we were masters of the universe – read it again.
    Look – soft skills like management etc, building relationship is what some bankers do . I don’t know if this is a big revelation to you this but bankers do business with people outside of banking. Building these relationships are key.
    Also inside a bank there are lots of mini businesses being run – things are being created everyday at a higher velocity than exists in the corporate world. I know – I have worked in both sectors.
    “creating mega spreadsheets” or you mean modelling is not a useful skill? come on

  6. The VSO has lost the plot, not that it ever really had it, being little more than a gap year travel agent for public schoolboys.

    Yes I doubt Ghana needs experience in settling Credit derivative trades.
    It does desparately need people skilled in maths, computers, and financial management. and most of all it really reallly needs people who can set up and run complex business processes.

  7. Ok bc, fair comment. Bankers clearly have a high skillset which can be used in all manner of industries and jobs. I guess my problem is more to do with the attitude of many a banker (certainly most of those that I have met). They seem to think that advising on deals or trading shares in companies entitles them to an incredibly arrogant personality. Being the guy who started that company from scratch, creating employment for thousands, being innovative enough to come up with a new idea, getting his/her hands dirty on the factory floors etc. That’s what I call true commercialism.

  8. Domini Connor

    you have lost the plot mate. Why would VSO specifically be interested in your work and experience. Why do you automatically assume you have better and more relavent skills for the work they do than a teacher, builder, small business owner.?
    You have lost the plot my friend, you will realise that that the real world is full of real people with real skills. Millions of people are not bankers, why should they consider you ahead of them and why have bankers got more relevant skills than everyone else?

    You need a wake up call

The comment is under moderation. It will appear shortly.


Screen Name


Consult our community guidelines here