The world of banking hasn't had the most positive press lately, and after all the media attention, you'd be forgiven for not considering a career in finance.
But there are some financial jobs that still put the customer first. Welcome to the world of the relationship manager.
So, what will I actually be doing?
Based within the banking or financial sector, a relationship manager’s role involves working with clients to help them make the right decisions with their accounts and explain the financial services on offer to them. You'll also be expected to identify possible sales opportunities and generate new business for the company you work for.
Far from being a self-absorbed money-orientated career, your role as a relationship manager is all based around your clients and their needs, so you'll spend much of your day discussing their financial needs and keeping records. Other daily duties will include:
- Setting up meetings with new clients
- Researching the latest products and regulations
- Looking for new sales opportunities
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The nitty gritty
Your working hours and conditions will depend largely on whether you are employed by a bank or if you choose to work independently. Banking hours are 9 - 5.30pm, Monday to Friday with occasional Saturday mornings. Working independently and being your own boss gives you the freedom to work hours that suit you and your clients.
If you enjoy the job, there's always room to improve and progress, and as you gain experience you can take on more clients or become a relationship director overseeing a team of relationship managers.
Money, money, money
As you take your first steps in your career as a relationship manager, you can expect to earn between £25k and £35k. With more experience and a large client base, this would rise up to £50k plus bonuses. A career in investment banking can earn you up to £100k per year.
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The good points...
This job boasts bags of variety, plenty of new challenges and a very healthy wage at the end of every month. What’s not to like?
...and the bad
As with every career where you have targets to meet and there’s lots of pressure to perform.
Is there study involved?
There are no official entry requirements for this role but employers will be looking at candidates with a minimum of five GCSEs (grades A-C), good IT skills and some experience of working within the financial sector.
As this role requires you to keep up to date with financial services you'll need to have a good understanding of banking procedures and regulations. A degree in a relevant subject such as business studies, finance or accountancy would also be an advantage. Anyone giving financial advice to clients will be expected to have at least one of the following certificates:
- Certificate in Financial Planning (CII)
- Certificate for Financial Advisers (IFS)
As a relationship manager you'll need to have continuous training to keep up to date with new financial products and procedures.
Need additional qualifications? Find a course at our Learning Zone
OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
To be successful in this job, you need to have:
- Excellent communication and listening skills
- The ability to explain complex information clearly and simply
- Good sales and negotiation skills
- An interest in financial products and markets
Good mathematical and computer skills
- Plenty of drive, initiative and motivation
- An honest and trustworthy manner
- Attention to detail
- The ability to analyse and research information