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The Early Talent Programme

The SMBC Early Talent Programme is aimed at ambitious graduates looking to take their first professional role in banking and finance. Are you keen to make a difference within a global organisation? Are you looking to develop technical skills and product knowledge? Are you looking to work for an organisation committed to driving social value?

We’re in search of bright, curious, and motivated individuals ready to embark on a career within this exciting industry.  

We run our programme across two of our key business pillars; Corporate & Investment Banking or Global Markets. Within your chosen business pillar you will undertake rotations across departments building your skills and knowledge over the course of your two year programme.

We have a select intake which gives you unrivalled access to leading industry professionals. From day one, you will be an integral part of the team and be assigned meaningful work to complete. We are Team SMBC, and our best work is driven by the experience and collaboration of our teams, regionally and globally. We are proud of our strong Japanese heritage which promotes teamwork, honesty, integrity, and respect.

Ready to take your next career step with #teamsmbc?

How will you be supported?

When you join our programme, you’ll participate in an initial induction, giving you an awareness of our business, ongoing strategy as well as our unique Team SMBC culture and values, and you will embark on training which will equip you with foundational knowledge in banking and finance.

The programme is designed to support the ongoing development of your industry knowledge and understanding of regulatory requirements, as well as providing you with a thorough understanding of the bank’s internal procedures.

Throughout the programme you will be supported by a line manager, buddy, and mentor as well as the Early Talent Programme Manager, who will ensure you have all the support you need to succeed. You’ll enjoy an ongoing commitment to your development, as you build a lasting and rewarding career with us.

What do we need from you?

We encourage individuals from any degree background to apply. Whether you’re studying languages, engineering, law, or science, we would welcome your application! However, it is essential that you can demonstrate an interest in banking and finance. You will have the ability to receive feedback and demonstrate a commitment to further developing your knowledge in this field.

  • Graduated between June 2022 - September 2024
  • Unrestricted and unlimited right to work in the UK

Valued interests and skills:

  • A strong desire to launch a career in banking and finance with some awareness of the global events that are shaping our industry
  • Commitment to developing technical skills and knowledge in financial markets through further study as part of this programme 
  • Curious with a desire to learn through continuous feedback
  • Ability to receive constructive feedback with the ability to persist
  • Effective communication skills both verbal and written
  • Ability to approach work using your own initiative and enjoy finding additional solutions
  • Excellent time management and ability to work to deadlines
  • Organised with an attention to detail
  • Passion for building relationships with both internal and external stakeholders
  • Interest in working in a Japanese culture

What’s on Offer?

  • Pre sign on bonus (paid during the first month of joining)
  • We offer a competitive salary and we are committed to supporting employees with a generous range of benefits (varies by location)
  • On successful completion of the programme you will transition into a role focused on your strengths shown during the programme and future career aspirations
  • An opportunity to experience Japanese working culture

Application Process

The recruitment process will be as follows: 

  • Online application & CV submission
  • Blended assessment & video interview
  • Assessment centre with SMBC

Please note the recruitment process for all locations will be conducted in English.

About SMBC Group

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Bank International plc (SMBC BI) is headquartered in London and is a wholly owned subsidiary of SMBC – a top-tier Japanese bank with a history spanning over 400 years. SMBC BI has become one of the most respected and trusted names in global banking.

We are united by a sense of purpose towards our customers - to be a trusted partner for the long-term - and our universal banking platform in EMEA delivers a full suite of corporate finance products and solutions to our customers, including corporate, structured and trade finance, leveraged finance, loan market and treasury products.

At SMBC Group, we recognise that diversity of background, opinions and perspectives is vital for the sustainable growth of our organisation and benefits of our customers and stakeholders. Our aim is to build an inclusive work environment where each employee feels able to be their authentic self. DRIVE is the umbrella for our employee-led diversity networks and stands for diversity, respect, inclusion, value and equality.


SMBC BI and SMBC Nikko are a proud signatories of the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter and Race at Work Charter.

As equal opportunity employers, we welcome applicants from all backgrounds. As inclusive employers, we are open to exploring flexible and agile working patterns as appropriate.

We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals from diverse backgrounds and communities. Reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process will be offered, if required, due to a disability or health condition.