As the assistant bank manager, your role would be to help oversee the running of an entire branch, or a number of small branches.
So, what will I actually be doing?
Every manager needs a strong team behind them, and as assistant manager you'd be their first point of contact. You'd have to, on a daily basis, motivate and encourage staff to keep the branch/branches running smoothly and meeting targets.
On top of working with staff, you'd be looking after business and individual customer accounts. It's your job to keep all regulations and policies in order and maintain good customer relationships. You'd also be one of the first ports of call for customer disputes and would have to answer a number of more complex queries.
Marketing also plays a part in your role. You would be responsible for helping to bring in new customers and boosting the bank's profits.
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The nitty gritty
9 to 5, Monday to Friday would be your typical working hours as an assistant bank manager, though some branches will be open on Saturday mornings also.
Your time would be split between working in an open plan, private office and visiting clients or attending meetings, travelling between them on a regular basis.
Formal business dress is necessary in this type of position, and a driving licence is also essential.
There is a clear promotion structure within banks and building societies. From assistant manager you can move on to branch manager, and from there to area and regional manager. At this position you could progress into operations management, or into other senior roles in head office. These would usually be more specialist roles, including treasury, finance, training, planning or human resources.
There's potential for you to specialise in individual banking or business banking, investment banking or working with the regulatory bodies, such as the Financial Services Authority (FSA), Personal Investment Authority (PIA) and Investment Management Regulatory Organisation (IMRO).
You could work in retail branches all over the UK.
Money, money, money
- Whilst you are a trainee, you'd usually earn between £18,000 and £25,000 a year
- Following your training, your salary will rise to around £26,000 to £30,000
- At regional and head office management level, your salary would range from £50,000 to £100,000
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The good points...
Benefits can include profit-related bonuses, subsidised mortgages, loans, pensions, shares and insurance.
...and the bad
Bankers haven’t got the best reputation at the moment, so don’t expect a warm welcome when you tell people what you do at parties.
Is there study involved?
You could join a bank or building society through a management training scheme, or alternatively, work your way up to the position from other jobs within the bank, such as bank cashier.
To join a management training scheme, you will most likely need a good honours degree (class 2:2 or above) in business studies, finance, management, economics or accounting. Check with colleges or universities for degree entry requirements.
Some banks may accept you with a degree in another subject, or with A levels (or similar qualifications) and some relevant work experience. You should check entry requirements with individual employers.
The other main way into a management position is via an in-house training programme from a customer service role. For this you will normally need supervisory experience and a good track record in meeting sales targets.
If you are aiming for promotion into management, you may help your career by studying part-time for qualifications from the ifs School of Finance, such as:
- Professional Diploma in Financial Services Management (Professional DFSM)
- Applied Diploma in Corporate Banking
- Applied Diploma in Retailing Financial Services
As a trainee, you'd follow an on-the-job training programme and be encouraged to work towards Associateship of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIB), which is offered through the Institute of Financial Services (ifs). This can be done by either block release or distance learning.
Once completed, if you are a student in England and Wales, you are also awarded a BSc (Hons) in Financial Services from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). You may also study towards Associateship of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland (CIOBS). These qualifications can take up to six years to complete.
NVQs/SVQs in Providing Financial Services (Banks and Building Societies) at levels 2, 3 and 4 are also available.
Continuing professional development programmes are offered by the ifs.
OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
To be a good assistant bank manager, you must have:
- Experience in lower management, ideally within the financial sector
- Ability to lead and motivate staff to meet targets
- A business focused attitude
- A good knowledge of the local economy
- Ability to deal courteously with customers
- Ability to communicate effectively, and build long-term working relationships
Ability to negotiate, solve problems and make effective decisions
- High levels of integrity and honesty
- Ability to work as part of a team
- Ability to adapt to change