A bank branch manager is the person responsible for the operation, administration, marketing, training, lending and security of a local bank branch. At the end of the day, the manager must be able to lead his or her team of tellers, product specialists and other bank officers to provide superior service and profits within the branch. They bear the responsibility for the overall success or failure of the branch, as seen by the bank’s corporate officers in comparison to its other branches and to branches of other banks. Being a bank branch manager is not the sort of position that one can just waltz into directly out of college. In most cases, it requires working one’s way up the ladder within a bank, working through the ranks to eventually ascend into the position.
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The branch manager has many tasks that he or she is responsible for during the course of a day. They are responsible, of course, for all the other employees within that branch. This includes not just hiring new tellers and product specialists and lending officers, but also making sure they are adequately trained and prepared to deliver superior service once hired. This would include both initial hiring training as well as periodic training on new products or offerings rolled out by the bank across all regions.
The branch manager is responsible for passing on information from higher-ups to personnel within the branch, but is also responsible for anything reported upwards to other parts of the bank. This would include deposit information, sales and lending goals, service scoring and feedback, errors and discrepancies in deposit or account reconciliations, and success in marketing or selling various products. For all of these various metrics, the branch manager is graded and evaluated to determine the effectiveness of the branch. They provide a window to evaluate just how smoothly the branch operates underneath his or her management.
In order to be a bank branch manager, an applicant must have several years of experience in cash management, cash handling, customer service and sales. Because the duties of a branch manager touch so many different areas, it is vital that an applicant’s experience touches on many different areas. Typically, when looking for a branch manager a bank will want to see experience within branches or banking centers and experience in handling cash and customers on a daily basis. The bank will want to see success in those prior roles, in order to get an idea that the applicant is someone who can be trusted with this additional responsibility.
If an applicant does not have previous experience in managing teams on a daily basis, then his or her resume should also try to highlight specific projects or assignments where they played critical roles. If he or she has been tasked with a project or short-term assignment before – a project or assignment in which they were able to take a successful leadership role – that should be highlighted. Even that sort of short-term leadership experience can be a positive item for a job applicant if the project or assignment was successful.
An applicant will often have at least a bachelor’s degree in business, finance or management. It is not absolutely necessary to have a degree in these fields, as the applicant’s work experience will be more relevant to the position that any collegiate activities. There are many cases where an applicant may only have a high-school degree, but possess years of experience in various banking roles to make them a worthy candidate for a branch manager position in which they will manage anywhere from six to 40 people, depending on the branch.
There used to be an old joke about working “bankers’ hours" in that they would be done by mid-afternoon and not work 40 hours a week. However, in the modern age, bank branches are open later during the day and on weekends to provide convenience for customers. As a result, it is quite possible that a bank manager works much more than 40 hours a week.
The branch manager must ensure that the branch is ready to open for the day, in terms of ensuring there is adequate cash for each of the tellers and automated teller machines. They must make sure that during the day, the branch is adequately staffed and meeting customers’ needs. They must make sure that the tellers and officers are performing their jobs optimally, while balancing out continued product training, absences, and the ebb and flow of customer traffic within the safe branch environment.
Lastly, they are responsible for the overall reconciliation and security of accounts touched during the day by the bank. All cash must be tallied to ensure that there are no discrepancies within the tellers’ rolls, with the cash forwarded to the bank’s vaults if necessary. All checks must be bundled and sent for processing within regional check processing centers or clearing houses, in order to debit the accounts on which they are drawn. When all records have been matched up, the manager must secure the facility to ensure account safety – both physical and electronic – while the branch is closed.
A branch manager’s salary will vary based on the number of people managed within the branch and the location of the branch. The beginning salary can range anywhere from the mid-40s to the mid-70s, based on these variables. Branches located in major metropolitan areas will pay more than branches in rural or suburban areas. Furthermore, compensation will be higher if there is a larger body of employees to manage on a daily basis.