I Want Your Job: Bank manager

'You need to be a very good listener'


Emma Harris, 33, is a bank manager at Abbey in Colchester.

What do you actually do?

Essentially, I look after our team of personal banking staff, who advise customers on products like credit cards and new savings accounts. It's my job to train and develop the team, by watching them in action and giving them plenty of feedback on how they interact with customers.

What's your working schedule like?

I work 35 hours a week, including some Saturdays. I try to give every day a set structure, so I get to the branch at 8.15 am, to prepare before we open the doors at 9am. At about 8.40am, we hold a "branch huddle" to talk about what's happening that day. We'll discuss sales and performance targets, and any new banking products being launched. I make sure everyone knows where I'll be that day, so they can find me if they need me. During the lunchtime rush, I usually sit with our personal bankers while they meet customers, to keep an eye on how they're doing. After we close at 5pm, I do a review with staff on how their day went, checking how we did in terms of service and sales. Normally I leave at 6pm, but one night a week I'll stay later and call customers we haven't caught up with in a while, to make sure all is OK.

What's the best thing about it?

I love talking to people face to face, and the constant interaction with the public. There's lots of variety – you never know what query you'll get next. I get a lot of satisfaction from knowing that I'm helping people save on their credit card bills. I don't feel like we're just selling loans and mortgages. We're helping customers save their money and stay on top of their finances.

Are there any downsides?

I work in a large, busy branch, managing a team of 15 people, doing about 500 transactions a day. The biggest challenge for me is fitting everything in, and catching up with everyone in my team. It's easy to get drawn into admin, but I really need to focus on managing people and giving them the support they need to do their jobs.

What skills do you need to do the job well?

You need excellent customer service skills, and to be aware of what the customer wants. You need to be able to cope with difficult situations and complaints, and to resolve them calmly. It's also very important to be a great coach and role model for your team. You should be an extremely good listener, and have a knack for asking people the right questions, because those are some of the key skills you need to develop in your team.

What advice would you give someone who wanted your job?

I joined Abbey at 16, straight out of school. Working my way up through the ranks has given me huge insight into how a big branch works at every level. I feel it helps with your credibility if you've done a stint in all the different roles in a bank. However, my job now is more about managing people, and if you're good at motivating a team, it's more helpful than just being able to balance the tills. I'd also advise people to look at our graduate training scheme, which gives graduates a fast track to management, by allowing them to shadow different roles in the bank.

What's the salary and career path like?

The salary for a bank manager at Abbey ranges from £19,600 up to £53,400, depending on the size of the branch and your experience. You could move to manage a larger branch, or become a regional manager, managing a cluster of around 10 to 14 branches. Or you could decide to specialise in mortgages or investments, managing mortgage and investment advisers across several different branches.

www.abbey.com. For more information on training and careers as a bank manager, visit www.fssc.org.uk, or www.ifslearning.ac.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Recruitment Genius: Graduate / Trainee Sales Executive

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate/Trainee Sales Executive is re...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Graphic Designer - Peterborough - £18,000

£22000 - £23000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Graphic Designer...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Cambridgeshire - £23,000

£22000 - £23000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Front-End Develo...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower