I did my internship at Banque Saudi Fransi. The internship period comprised of two stages. Hence, I spent two months of training at the Corporate Banking Division, and then there was one more month of practice at the Corporate Operation Department. My key responsibilities included monitoring daily operations, tracking the general workflow, analyzing employee performance, developing incentives frameworks, and delegating tasks to operation team members. I was also in charge of designing a business continuity plan and back up strategies and collaborating with managers for practice exchange. The internship was a valuable experience as it allowed applying my theoretical knowledge to practice and understand the principle of banking operations from inside.
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Description of the Company
History and Contact Information
Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF) was founded in 1977 as a Joint Stock Company. It started its official operations in 1989. Throughout its history, the bank has developed a vast network so that it currently has 120 branches. The Head Office is located in Riyadh, while there are also additional regional offices in Jeddah, Al-Riyadh, and Al-Khobar (Banque Saudi Fransi Profile par.5). For further information, the bank might be accessed through the following channels:
Phone (Inside the Kingdom): 800 124 2121
Phone (Outside the Kingdom): +966 920000576
Type of Ownership and Key Shareholders
BSF is a Joint Stock Company. Its key shareholders are represented by the Board of Directors. The list of the main shareholders is represented in the table below.
|Chairman||Sulaiman Abdulrahman Al Gwaiz|
|Vice-Chairman||Abdulrahman Rashed Al-Rashed|
|Board Member||Sebastien Pailhole, Jacques Prost, Badr Abdullah Al Issa, Mazin Abdulrazzak AlRomaih, Ammar Abdulwahed AlKhodairy, Dr. Khalid H. Mutabagani, Mousa Omran Al-Omran|
|Group CEO & Board Member||Patrice Couvegnes (Banque Saudi Fransi Board Memberspar.1)|
Table 1 “BSF Shareholders.”
The company’s profile reveals that it is affiliated with Credit Agricole Corporate as well as Investment Banks. These shareholders possess 31.1% equity interest (Banque Saudi Fransi Profile par.2). The list of additional shareholders other than board members and executive directors can be viewed in Appendix 1.
Operation Sector and Services
The company operates within the financial market sector. It provides a wide range of commercial banking services that include corporate banking, commercial banking, Islamic banking, investment services (asset management, funds investment, etc.), and brokerage services the range of products that the company offers comprises foreign exchange, commodities, equities, interest rate derivatives, and hybrids derivatives.
The bank likewise offers professional consultative service to provide some guidelines on risk management and safe hedging solutions. All the services are delivered through the three regional offices (Banque Saudi Fransi Products and Services par.1).
Generally speaking, any individual can potentially become the bank’s client. Hence, BSF offers services for both private customers and corporate entities. It is also essential to note that the company performs an active contribution to the local charity programs. Therefore, charity organizations might be likewise referred to as the key beneficiaries (Banque Saudi Fransi Profile par.5).
Even though the company claims to be equally focused on both domestic and international clientele, the experience of working there lets one feel that the special emphasis is put on the domestic segment.
The figure below illustrates the BSF organization chart.
Hence, it might be seen that there are five committees under the supervision of the Board of Directors (BOD).
The Donation and Social Contribution Committee is responsible for holding meetings during which its members target the most urgent aid subjects. This committee comprises four members: the chairmen and three members (“Annual Report” p.87).
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The Risk Committee is responsible for risk management and prevention. It comprises six members: the chairman and five members (“Annual Report” p.86).
The Audit Committee is in charge of supervising internal audits, verifying the reports’ accuracy, and their compliance with the relevant legislation basis, to name but a few. It comprises five members: two chairmen and three members (“Annual Report” p.88).
The Executive Committee manages the key operations – it assesses the corporate plans and strategies, approves or disapproves of proposed policies, and evaluates potential risks. The Committee is composed of seven members: one chairman and six members (“Annual Report” p.85).
The Nomination and Compensation Committee designs the compensation system and ensures its successful operation. It likewise performs an advisory function. The Committee comprises four members: one chairman and three members (“Annual Report” p.86).
Department Division and Functions
The most critical bank departments and division are Credit Administration Department, Accounting and Financial Control Division, Financial Planning and Management Control Division, Asset and Liability Management Department, Corporate Banking Division, Corporate Operation Department, and Corporate Communications Department. A detailed review of the main departments and their functions can be found in Appendix 2.
Working Conditions and Functions
I had an opportunity to complete two practical programs and try my hand at working in different departments. First, I spent two months training at the Corporate Banking Division. Second, I spent a month working for the Corporate Operation Department. Therefore, I was supposed to learn to fulfill the responsibilities of an operational manager. This implied supervising teams involved in transactions and the provision of data associated with particular service areas –the key task was to ensure that the scope of the target tasks meets the set deadlines and the quality standards.
Organization Chart of the Internship Organization
The figure represented below illustrates the Organization Chart in my Corporate Operation Department.
The invoicing team is responsible for sales invoicing and encoding procedures. Pricing and marketing analysts manage prices and demand planners. The special action team is in charge of documentation and message processing. The licensing and accreditation team assists in preparing legal documents.
Division Layout of the Internship Organization
All types of procedures (investment, foreign exchange, and general banking) would be managed according to the following division layout:
Overview of the Service Procedure
The figure below provides a brief review of the service procedure. It is essential to point out that it is a general illustration that does not differentiate between the types of service.
Process Chart of a Major Service
It is problematic to point out the major service as the Operation Department is in charge of various services. General banking might be characterized as the most requested option, within which the loan service is in particular demand. The figure below demonstrates the process chart of the loan procedure.
The bank ensures the compliance of the documentation with the world-recognized standards. Hence, all the financial statements are prepared in accordance with the SAMA standards. Additionally, they are compliant with international standards. The bank relies on the Banking Act and Corporate Act of SA and the internal Articles of Association. The documentation is audited on a regular basis, and no discrepancies have been detected yet.
The bank uses a large scope of e-tools that enable employees to perform sustainable communication within the departments. The corporate laptops are equipped with special software that allows for rapid message exchange and file share within departments. All the department rooms have access to high-speed Internet. The data is stored through cloud platforms that are protected with the help of effective security programs.
Quality Planning and Control Activities
Each new week begins with the quality planning meeting, during which the supervisor targets the nearest objectives and the expected outcomes. During the week, the trainee is supposed to register the milestones and send an everyday report to the supervisor so that the latter tracks the progress and provides the necessary recommendations. The supervisor might ask to revise the task or give the agreement for continuing its completion. The final results are discussed at the end of each week.
Quality Control Activities
The quality of the outcomes is measured through specially prepared quality matrices that describe each level of completion and characterize it in a relevant manner: failed, satisfactory, good, excellent. Such a matrix is specially prepared for every week because its content describes the desired results. At a higher level, external audits are likewise used to ensure consistent quality control. General quality standards are described in corporate manuals.
Financial Analysis and Decision Making Methods
Decision making is commonly performed with the application of the Bottom-up approach. Hence, immediate executives are involved in evaluating the target aspects. A large scope of financial analysis is also performed with the help of computer technologies and innovative software that offers convenient forecasting and analytical tools. Digital records are further evaluated by corporate financial experts, and the final decision is discussed at the team meeting.
The corporate payment system is based on performance-related principles. Hence, each employee is assigned a particular minimal fixed payment. The rest of the revenues he or she is supposed to gain through product performance. Assigned bonuses are of two types. There are regular incentives that employees receive for completing the normal scope. These incentives are fixed and paid at the end of each month. There are also occasional bonuses that are assigned for outstanding achievements only.
Performed Marketing, Selling, and Human Resources Analysis
Human resource analysis is performed in the main office. Each week the operation department manager has a briefing with the relevant specialist from the main office. After that, there is a meeting with the operation team where the manager retells all the improvements that need to be implemented and the flaws that should be eliminated. The selling statistics are automatically fixed so that every employee can track the selling progress through his or her account.
Working Documents and Analysis
Through the course of my internship, I learned to work with such documents as Project Management tables, spreadsheets, and digital performance monitoring. I likewise learned to operate the loan documentation: loan applications, loan approvals, loan disapprovals, and agreement forms.
Aligning Theory and Practice
At first, it was rather problematic to align the theory to practice. Working in the bank required immediate decision making so that it was sometimes impossible to revise the materials studied in the class. In the meantime, as soon as I got used to the working pace, I realized that my knowledge base was very valuable – I knew how to operate the most critical software and programs. I also understood the key principles of team management so that I would always see the rationale for the decisions my supervisor made.
How Al Yamamah University Prepared Me for the Internship
The Al Yamamah University has provided me with consistent preparation for my internship. First, I was emotionally prepared for the potential challenges as we had a lot of practical classes in the university that helped to develop quick decision-making skills. Second, the consistent theoretical basis that the university gave me helped to minimize the adaptation period – I had a clear idea of the principles used in banking management, so I only needed to adjust them to the environment.
An Assessment of the Internship
Skills and Qualifications
In the course of my internship, I mainly developed my communication and leadership skills. I also learned the key principle of effective time management and task scheduling. Additionally, the internship helped me to acquire the basic skills of operating accounting programs and performing documentation analysis.
My main responsibilities comprised monitoring daily operations and the general workflow, tracking the employee performance and developing incentive frameworks, and delegating tasks to operation team members. I was likewise responsible for working on business continuity plans and back-up strategies. Finally, I was in charge of collaborating with managers from other departments and discussing effective team management practices.
I believe that this internship will make me reshape my vision of working in the banking segment. This experience made me develop a strong interest in the operation department that I would not consider as my future destination before. I am now eager to learn more about managing operation teams and to understand the mechanism of each department subdivision better.
Internship Activities and Classroom Knowledge
The classroom knowledge helped to integrate into the working environment in the shortest time possible. Meanwhile, I should also note that after receiving the practical experience and observing the work from inside, I began to understand some of the classroom theories better. Therefore, the interconnection between internship activities and classroom knowledge turned out to be double-way.
Basing on my internship experience, I can conclude that the banking sector is a complex structure working in which requires diversified skills and knowledge. Hence, it is insufficient to know the principles of management to make a good supervisor of an operation team – it is likewise necessary to have a profound understanding of all the operations that each team member is supposed to carry out.
The operation department is one of the most interesting departments to work in as it is responsible for various types of activities. In addition, it is essentially interconnected with different groups of stakeholders, which helps to observe the banking process in general.
|Credit Administration Department||It ensures the consistent flow of crediting procedures.|
|Corporate Operation Department||It designs strategies for managing products, processes, and services.|
|Asset and Liability Management Department||It manages the risks and regulatory risks associated with assets and liabilities.|
|Corporate Communications Department||It establishes and enhances relations with the media.|
|Corporate Banking Division||It helps to maintain relations with the largest clients and other departments to ensure consistent improvement.|
|Accounting and Financial Control Division||It controls the accounting methods and procedures carried out in the bank.|
|Financial Planning and Management Control Division||It works out financial strategies on the basis of critical analysis and performance evaluation.|
“Department Division and Functions”
Annual Report 2016. Web.
Banque Saudi Fransi. Board Members, 2016. Web.
—. Products and Services, 2016. Web.
—. Profile, 2016. Web.