Behind the scenes in a bank , many people work to help keep things running smoothly. As a bank clerk, you would be one of these important people.
So, what will I actually be doing?
Careful records must be kept for every action carried out within the bank, from a cheque being cashed to a loan being taken out. Your role as a bank clerk means you're responsible for maintaining these records, depending on your specialist field.
As a bank clerk, you could be separated into one of the following:
Interest clerk: Recording interest owed to saving accounts customers and interest owed to the bank from loans and other investments.
Loan clerk: Recording and organising loan information.
Statement clerk: Preparing the monthly balance sheets of checking account customers.
Exchange clerks: Working on international accounts, translating foreign currency into pounds sterling and vice versa.
Security clerk: Recording, filing and looking after stocks, bonds and other investment documents.
Bookkeeping clerk: Taking care of records for each customer's account.
There are various other clerical roles you could be involved in as a bank clerk to help keep the bank in order. Just like any other business, banks need help with general tasks, such as data entry, filing, mail handlers, and messengers.
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The nitty gritty
Generally, you'll be working between 35 and 40 hours a week as a bank clerk. Depending on the bank and its hours, you could be expected to work some evening and weekend shifts too.
At a clerical level you could often move up to positions of greater responsibility or move into a more specialised field.
Money, money, money
Your salary would vary based on your experience and the area you work within. A typical starting salary would range between £15,000 and £20,000.
With more experience you could earn between £22,000 and £30,000.
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The good points...
Banks generally prefer to promote employees, rather than hire new workers for jobs that require experience. As a bank clerk, you could easily move to a cashier or supervisor role.
...and the bad
Banks maintain a pleasant working atmosphere, though to help concentration as a bank clerk you would often be working alone, so if you like to hear lots of chatter in the office, this might not be the job for you.
Is there study involved?
To become a bank clerk, you'll usually need to give evidence of a good educational background. This would need to emphasise basic skills in typing, bookkeeping, and business maths.
Knowledge of computers and business machines would also be helpful. During the interview process, you might be tested on your clerical skills.
Most training is done on-the-job. You can work towards NVQs/SVQs in customer service at levels 2 and 3, and Providing Financial Services at levels 2, 3 and 4.
The Diploma in Financial Services Management (DFSM) is a foundation-level qualification for those aspiring to supervisory management positions. It is offered by the Institute of Financial Services (ifs) - a subsidiary of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIB) - and by the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland (CIOBS).
If you wish to develop your career beyond the diploma, you may follow the CIB/CIOBS Associateship course, which can be undertaken by either block release or distance learning. On completion, if you are a student in England and Wales, you're also awarded a BSc (Hons) in Financial Services from University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST).
Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (MAPPs) may be available for people aged 16-24..
OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
To be a good bank clerk, you must have:
- The ability to work neatly and accurately
- Good written and verbal communication skills
- Good numeracy and calculation skills
- Good IT skills and computer literacy
- An honest and trustworthy nature
- A good attention to detail
A good knowledge of data processing and computers will provide you with the best opportunities for promotion, as well as a demonstration of your skills.