A bank manager may work for a retail (High Street), commercial or corporate bank. They are responsible for managing all the operational aspects of the branch or branches under their control.
Bank managers oversee the day-to-day running of their bank, lead a team of staff and manage work and resources. They aim to improve:
Some bank managers, particularly those managing larger branches, may be responsible for specific product groups or customers, for example, business accounts, premium accounts, financial products, loans or mortgages. The job is focused on meeting targets and promoting specific financial or banking services, as well as improving efficiency and profitability.
A bank manager's typical weekly duties may include:
Bank managers usually work 37 hours a week, typically Monday to Friday. If branches open on Saturday mornings, cover for this and security callouts are usually on a rota. Part-time work and job sharing is possible.
Retail and business bank managers may work within one branch or cover a regional network of branches, travelling between them. Some also work in call centres, managing online and telephone banking services. These are often based out of town. Travel, apart from attending management conferences or meetings, is usually limited to a set geographic area. A driving licence may be useful.
Smart personal appearance and business dress is expected. Uniforms may be provided.
Starting salaries for bank managers joining management training programmes range from between £19,500 and £25,000 a year. Salary packages usually include performance and profit-related bonus schemes. Extra benefits may include location allowances, company cars, preferential financial product schemes (such as subsidised mortgages, loans, private healthcare and life assurance), and contributory pensions and share saving schemes.
There are roughly 90,000 bank managers currently working throughout the UK. Despite the merger of banks in recent years and the closure and amalgamation of smaller, often more rural retail bank branches, the number of management positions has remained relatively stable.
Some bank jobs have been regionally centralised, and it is becoming more common for managers to oversee a number of branches instead of being based at one. There has also been a growth in national banking call centres, creating more people management jobs. Regional and head office management positions are usually found in the financial districts of large cities.
Additional bank management jobs exist in:
Vacancies are normally advertised on employers' websites, as well as by specialist financial sector publications, finance and banking recruitment agencies and national newspapers.
There are many routes into bank management. The most direct is to join a graduate trainee programme. Applicants normally need a 2.1 degree in a related business or financial topic, as competition for these placements is high. For a degree course they usually need at least two A levels/three H grades and five GCSE's/S grades (A-C/1-3), or equivalent qualifications. Applicants to an international bank may find a second language an advantage. ICT skills are also useful.
Many banks also offer fast track management training programmes to internal candidates who have some work experience and demonstrate the right drive and commitment. Some employers may require two or more A levels/H grades, or equivalent vocational qualifications, such as the ifs School of Finance Professional Diploma in Financial Services Management.
It is also possible to join a bank in an advisory or service role with GCSE's/S grades (A-C/1-3) and progress into a management position. Vocational financial qualifications may also demonstrate an understanding of the financial marketplace and help career advancement. The ifs School of Finance offer a range of qualifications, including the:
- Foundation Certificate in Personal Finance (FCPF)
- Intermediate Certificate in Personal Finance (ICPF)
- Certificate in Financial Studies (CeFS)
- Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS)
All candidates should expect to undergo security clearance, including a criminal records and credit rating check.
Induction programmes for trainee bank managers typically last between 18 and 24 months, and usually include a working overview of different banking functions.
Trainees are normally assigned a mentor, and the programmes are usually supported by training courses in areas such as leadership and people management, as well as technical and operational skills.
It is becoming increasingly common for bank managers to complete the appropriate technical qualifications for regulated financial products. These may include:
The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) also offers a range of appropriate professional certificates covering mortgage advice, financial planning, lifetime mortgage activities, long-term care insurance and insurance.
CPD is encouraged by employers. CIOBS and ifs School of Finance offer professional qualifications, including certificates, diplomas and applied diplomas. Some are general, covering retail or business and corporate banking. There are also relevant courses in customer relationship management, customer care, operational risk management and call centre management.
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A bank manager should:
Branch managers may be able to progress to area and regional management.
The diverse skills gained in finance, business and people management can be applied to many head office positions. Some bank managers go on to specialise in marketing, human resources, training or strategy planning. Any career progression may involve relocating, usually within the UK.
British Bankers' Association, Pinners Hall,
105-108 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1EX
Tel: 020 7216 8800
The Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland (CIOBS),
Drumsheugh House, 38B Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh EH3 7SW
Tel: 0131 473 7777
Chartered Insurance Institute (CII),
42-48 High Road, South Woodford, London E18 2JP
Tel: 020 8989 8464
Financial and Legal Skills Partnership,
51 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HQ
Tel: 0845 257 3772
ifs School of Finance, IFS House,
4-9 Burgate Lane, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2XJ
Tel: 01227 762600
Additional resources for job seekers and those already in a job.