There are some banking jobs that are more demanding. I am always asked by some people how they can get those jobs. How to become a personal banker that makes a good salary is one of those frequently asked questions.
Different careers have different challenges. Each person depending on their personal strength and weaknesses choose careers that suit them. In fact, you would notice that need and availability are invariably the biggest deciding factors. In this context, one career that has often been chosen for the stability and success that it guarantees is that of a personal banker.
So, if you have decided to become a personal banker (which is what I don’t encourage you to, because there are much better opportunities to make a living and even become rich), it is important to understand the ways to master the training procedure and ways to achieve success and draw a handsome personal banker salary.
If you have decided to become a personal banker, you must understand the exact personal banker job description first and foremost. Well, they predominantly help customers with their different needs in the retail branches of a bank.
What Does a Personal Banker Do?
In fact, personal bankers cater to different types of customer needs like:
- Opening of savings account
- Applying for mortgage or auto loan
- Opening fixed deposits
- Getting details about other investment instruments
- Deciding on the appropriate savings scheme for future
There are many small and big requirements that every customer in the bank needs assistance with. A personal banker invariably becomes their go-to person for all of these and more. One basic difference between a personal banker and an investment banker is the profile of the customers they cater to. An investment banker is essentially dealing with high net worth individuals and institutional investors and big budget customers. But a personal banker deals essentially with common day to day people. They deal with average citizens with access to little savings and a limited sum of money to deal with. Sometimes, unlike the customer profile that investment bankers deal with, these personal bankers also handle customers who might not be very comfortable with banking systems also.
Your Communication Skills
It is quite clear that if you want to understand how to become a personal banker, work on your communication skills. This is absolutely important. A successful personal banker has to be great at interpersonal skills and be quick in establishing communication channels with the customer. They have to be swift, agile, quick to spot an opportunity and smart sellers of the banking products. But most importantly they need to be thorough with the various banking products available and the various age or professional groups these are targeted at. This is exactly why another important factor is you need to be physically fit if you want to become a personal banker.
It is a very challenging job that needs you to remain standing or even seated for a long while. Your working hours too can be quite long at times and sometimes you might have to take calls even on your holidays. Therefore, if you are keen on knowing how to become a personal banker, it has to be comprehensive and all rounded relook at your overall personality development coupled with academic training to fulfill the needs of the job.
Academic Training to Become a Personal Banker
First, Let us first understand what the educational qualification is required if you want to become a personal banker.
A degree in finance and banking is extremely important to pursue any kind of banking profession. After you complete your high school degree, it becomes important to pursue your undergraduate studies in banking and finance matters. Even at high school level, interested candidates must pay attention to their math and commerce classes. It is important to follow this pattern of academic training because this is what creates the base for a long and productive career in the banking industry.
When you want to know how to become a personal banker, it becomes extremely important to understand the various minor points of the money business, and it is this training that creates the right base. You learn to understand the various nuances of mathematics and economics and learn to apply them in the banking system. For the better understanding of the various financial and banking intricacies, in-depth knowledge of these basics is very important. Taking forward the same train of thought, you badly need to get your BA or undergraduate degree in finance, accounting and related subject.
The Competition Is Huge
Given the immeasurable stability that this job provides and the goodwill associated with it, often the competition to apply for this type of job openings is huge. So when you have a relevant finance degree, it surely enhances your prospect for landing the job as compared to someone who might not have a degree to substantiate their eligibility. But just pursuing your studies in the right subject won’t suffice you to become a personal banker.
You also need to work hard towards earning good grades and consistently putting up a good show in terms of comprehensive and qualitative academic brilliance. You must remember when the interviewer is ultimately studying your application as compared to the others in the fray, it is your better grades that can sometimes ensure a better job placement for you. It is after all common practice that the higher grades always get better offers, not just in banking service but also in any type of job offer based on academic performance.
The popular belief is that if the person is diligent as a student, this generally means they also prove to be hardworking professionals. It goes without saying that every organization looks for that type of professionals to ensure better productivity.
1. Internship/Part Time Job
It is a good idea to take up a summer internship or a part-time job as an assistant to a personal banker if you plan to become a personal banker. There are many advantages of this move:
First and foremost, this helps you to gain real life experience about the realities of the job.
1) You get exposure not only in terms of gauging the realities but also understanding of how to go about troubleshooting.
2) You get access to more money that you can allocate towards better study material. This will help you further broaden the scope and understanding of the overall subject.
3) Going to the bank regularly also ensures that you can actively interact with a lot more bank officials and get access to classified information like job openings. This can help you in the longer term when you are actually out looking for the job.
4) One of the greatest benefits of working part-time is you are gaining both academic and real life learning at the same time. You should broaden the scope of academic understanding of the banking operation. But you should also develop personality traits that are important for your success.
5) In this way, even before you have joined a formal job, you tend to create a huge base of customers. These customers should prefer to interact with you and are more comfortable dealing with you.
6) In the course of your regular interaction, you also can look at getting some mentors too. These mentors will then guide you towards better success. They should help you understand how to become a personal banker who is also efficient and draws a significantly satisfying salary.
The salary as in the case of investment bankers is often based on the overall commission layout and inside information can prove to be very critical in this case. Therefore, this additional job opportunity creates an inroad for becoming a better personal banker. Also, the networking that you work upon can even help you create sustainable and long-term options. They can work towards not just creating better opportunities for you. But at times, this job exposure could be the reason how to make a mark in this type of a career. After all when you start early, it surely helps you gain more competence.
2. Never Compromise on Reading
Another aspect that can help you become a personal banker is a simple fact that never let the urge to know more and understand better fade. One effective way of doing it is read continuously and keep looking for more reading materials. Moreover reading about different aspects of banking will also enable you to make a decision on what could be the best career alternative for you. There are as a result many benefits of reading and furthering your career prospects in banking through it. Some of the most important elements include:
1) It helps you remain updated on all the latest trends in the banking world
2) It enables you to make informed choices on various aspects of banking across the board
3) Reading empowers you to develop greater depth in your overall learning curve
4) Reading also enables you to stay well informed on a wide range of topics. This is particularly important if you want to strike a conversation with the customers and ensure that you develop better interpersonal relations with them.
5) Reading also helps you remain relevant for both your organization as well as the people you interact with. You can advise them on the latest trends and help them make decisions in sync with modern demands.
3. The Key Responsibilities of Personal Banker
Now that we understand how you can how to become a personal banker, it becomes important to understand the primary responsibilities of a personal banker.
This is perhaps the most important and commonly understood job of a personal banker. This is, in many ways, their standard duty. The personal banker helps customers to open new savings accounts and also enable existing customers to further their savings profile. Normally you see the personal bankers sitting across the large desks in the bank lobby in most retail branches of banks. As a personal banker, you work towards customizing the accounts to fit with the overall customer’s demands and requirements.
Not just helping in opening savings accounts, as a personal banker, you are also in charge of the various ancillary services like overdraft facilities and customer specific roundup facilities. They also help create checking account where every debit card purchase is rounded up to the next dollar. The excess change is then placed in a savings account to help the customer create additional savings.
Investment Product Sale
Well, it is common knowledge that retail banks do not offer very aggressive instruments of investment like what you would see in the stock market or investment banks. Nevertheless, they do have ample investment scope for their clients with guaranteed return prospects. Some of the most popular ones include Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or FDIC, CDs, money market accounts and retirement plans. Some customers are pretty confident about how much and in what they want to invest in. But there are few who need guidance and sufficient hand-holding the personal banker comes to their rescue.
Therefore, if you want to become a personal banker, you should be well versed with various investment instruments and how well to target them to a specific customer.
Helping With Loans
It is common knowledge that the client base that a personal banker is dealing with do not boast of a huge money power. In fact, they have far fewer resources in hand. Therefore the need for the loan is also more prominent and common. Therefore if you plan to become a personal banker, it is advisable to brush up your understanding on the overall loan picture. The fact that you are licensed to sell mortgages means you must understand what the right solution is for a specific customer and work towards it. This is particularly relevant for small scale banks.
Remember the smaller the bank is, the more varied is your role as a personal banker. So you are required to perform a number of responsibilities in one go. However, you must remember that as a personal banker, you can only offer loans that your bank is offering.
As compared to the mortgage broker who can offer loans from a dozen banks to the customer, you might be at a disadvantage. Again, an efficient and smart personal banker turns this into a huge opportunity and is able to sell their own bank’s loans a lot more than average.
Planning For Retirement
As the personal banker undertakes a lot more personalized approach, customers open up a lot more candidly to them. When customers tell you about their need for retirement planning or child’s college education liabilities, you can easily turn it into an opportunity for your bank. Sometimes as you gradually become a personal banker par excellence, you learn to beautifully combine the customer needs with your banks offering and bring about a perfect marriage of convenience. Your role as a personal banker in this case also wears the hat of an advisor.
4. Personal Banker Salary
That brings us to the key point, and that is the scope for a personal banker salary expectation. It is common knowledge that they are not paid as well as an investment banker. But if you plan to become a personal banker, your salary can range between $30,000-35,000 depending on the customer base and product offerings you deal with. One must remember that every bank has a unique pay structure and sometimes it is hard to draw corollary.
But a common element is that it is a mix of bonus and commissions that a personal banker earns through the products that they sell. This essentially means the more the personal banker can sell, the more commission he or she can earn. As a result in this context, your networking abilities can be really handy. The more you can network, better becomes your ability to sell these products, and as a result, this enhances your commission and overall payment.
This can rise to the extent where a personal banker can even earn as much as $50,000 a year or even greater depending on the location you might be in. The working hours of a personal banker in correlation to the overall salary that they draw is the biggest plus. If you want to become a personal banker, set working hours and leave on all bank holidays is a big bonus. Unlike Wall Street investors, they work far less than on certain weeks that might have extra holidays.
So while the compensation package is relatively lower, you are also working a lot less than an average investment banker who perhaps earns double the amount that you might be earning.
If you want to become a personal banker, it is a unique mix of a challenging yet relaxed job profile. It is a profile that gives you a lot more scope to interact with people at a personal level and work towards achieving greater good coupled with strong business acumen. It is a career option that helps develop your investment skills with the task of helping the community. On an average you become the ultimate go-to person in the bank’s overall approach road and can often be instrumental in driving greater traffic towards the various offerings in a bank. A personal banker is almost the bridge between the community and the bank’s bag of offerings.