What Is a Personal Banker?

A personal banker helps you with your day-to-day banking needs.

Personal bankers are bank employees. Unlike tellers, who typically handle routine transactions, personal bankers handle more complex tasks like providing customer service and selling bank products that are beneficial to customers. A personal banker manages both new customers and existing customers, helping guide them through their bank’s products. They might work with consumers, businesses or both.

Read on to learn about the roles and requirements of a personal banker.

What Is the Role of a Personal Banker?

In retail banking, a personal banker is a bank staff member who helps clients with financial transactions like opening or closing an account. The exact responsibilities of a personal banker vary by bank, but in general, personal bankers help with complex transactions that take more than a few minutes. For example, when you need to open or close a bank account, purchase a CD or roll your money into an individual retirement account, you will most likely talk to a personal banker.

Other responsibilities of a personal banker might include developing and maintaining positive consumer relationships, planning effective sales strategies, providing product information to customers, tracking the performance of current financial products and making projections for the future. Personal bankers might also greet customers, step in for tellers when needed and answer customer questions.

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What Skills Do Personal Bankers Need To Have?

Because personal bankers fill in for tellers, they should understand the intricacies of handling cash and basic banking procedures. Personal bankers should also have an in-depth understanding of their bank’s policies and procedures and the products they’re authorized to offer to customers.

Personal bankers also need to have excellent verbal and written communication skills because they interact with customers in person, over the phone and by email. They might also have to communicate with dissatisfied customers and explain bank policies. They should know how to de-escalate situations and remain calm under pressure. As part of the customer service experience, they might educate people about finance and take pride in helping people meet their financial goals.

Personal bankers sometimes also have product sales goals, which requires excellent communication. They should understand how to sell products in a way that serves the needs of their customers and know when to refer customers to other departments. For example, a young couple might come in to open a checking account. In the event they’re renting their home, a personal banker might discuss the benefits of buying a house and refer them to a loan officer to start exploring various options the bank might have for them.

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How Do You Become a Personal Banker?

Personal banker positions typically require a minimum of a high school diploma or GED. Some banks prefer that you also have some banking experience before they offer you a position. You’re also expected to have basic computer skills, including an understanding of how to use programs like Excel and Word. Potential applicants who don’t have basic computer skills should consider taking a class at a community college or local organization to develop the skills needed for a personal banking position.

To get started, you could apply for a position as a personal banker directly, or you could start as a teller to gain some banking experience. Once you have experience as a teller, you could apply for a personal banker position with your current employer or at a different bank. Banks also look for sales experience, so you could start in retail sales to develop your sales and interpersonal skills and then apply for a personal banking position.

Applicants with a college degree in business or finance might want to apply for a personal banking position even without a background in banking because some banks will accept a degree in place of experience. Make sure to mention any relevant internships or work experience.

Read Further: Why Soft Skills Are More Important Than Hard Skills in the Workplace

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How Much Does a Personal Banker Make Per Hour?

As with any position, salaries for personal bankers vary depending on where you live. Places with a high cost of living, like Washington, D.C., might pay more than an area with a lower cost of living, like Oklahoma. Tellers have a median pay of $14.16 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Personal bankers do more complex work than tellers, so you could expect to make more as a personal banker. According to Glassdoor, which has self-reported salaries, personal bankers make an average of about $37,000 per year.

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Choosing Personal Banking as a Career

Personal banking can be a good career if you enjoy working with and helping people, as you’ll be guiding customers toward making smart decisions with their money and educating them about banking. It is also necessary to multitask efficiently.

Working as a personal banker can help you develop skills that you could use to move into more advanced positions like bank management or financial advising. It can be an excellent way to move into a career in financial services.

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This article has been updated with additional reporting since its original publication.

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