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What does a Personal Banker do?

By C. K. Lanz
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A personal banker is a representative of a financial institution who helps certain clients manage their assets, including mortgages, savings, checking and money market accounts, and Certificates of Deposit (CDs). The personal banker examines a client's assets, suggests additional banking services, and offers solutions when consulted about financial needs. Unlike a financial planner or broker, who might provide information on a broad range of options, a personal banker is concerned only with the assets and deposits that a client has with the bank he or she represents. This can be a dedicated position at some banks and usually involves special training.

Basic Responsibilities

Banks, especially large ones, offer a wide array of services, accounts, and loans to their customers. Many clients are unable to determine which services best fit their financial needs and seek out a bank representative for clarification and advice. Personal bankers strive to establish and maintain strong relationships with their customers, and even proactively contact clients with recommendations and visit their businesses.

Financial institutions expect personal bankers to sell financial products and services to clients or refer them to other areas of the bank. As a result, banks commonly offer personal bankers incentives like sales and referral bonuses beyond base salary. Personal bankers must be able to resolve difficult situations quickly and efficiently while ensuring customer satisfaction.

Additional Services for a Client

Customers typically receive help and advice when completing loan applications and may even find that the loan application process can be streamlined with a personal banker's guidance. In addition, a personal banker helps clients decide which accounts and investments might yield maximum benefits, and then walk them through the necessary application procedures. Questionable account fees can be efficiently explained and removed without having to call an automated customer service number, and an account's automatic debits and credits can be monitored on the client's behalf.

Positions as Personal Bankers

Tellers, loan officers, and branch managers can all be personal bankers, although many banks hire and train individuals specifically for this position. The goal is to provide personalized customer service that is tailored to a specific client's banking needs. Helping affluent customers manage their accounts is a service that has long been available in one form or another.

In recent years, however, wealth is no longer required for someone seeking a personal banker's advice. Banks might offer the services of a personal banker to any client who requires a loan or who invests in CDs or a money market account. Customers are usually not charged additional fees for consulting with a personal banker so long as a minimum balance is maintained with the financial institution.

Training for Bankers

Personal bankers must be familiar with all available loan, account, and service options, current interest rates, and projected trends in order to properly advise a client. Banks usually provide personal bankers with several weeks of training in order to familiarize them with the institution's specific products and services. Many personal bankers also have an educational background in finance and previous experience in banking.

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Discussion Comments

By comfyshoes — On Mar 24, 2011

@Sneakers41 - I didn’t know that. I thought that the mortgage broker for the bank handled both products.

I had a friend that was looking into banking jobs because she was considering becoming a financial advisor. She did not have a financial background but did have a degree and considered finding a personal banker job to get her foot in the door with a bank and eventually work her way to a financial advisor position.

She told me that a lot of personal bankers that have a series six and a series seven license are the only ones authorized to discuss investments with customers so this gives the licensed personal banker and advantage.

The personal banker salary varies but there are bonuses associated. Most financial advisors that work for outside investment firms either work on strictly commission or are only paid a very small amount and the majority of the compensation is based on commissions.

This makes it very hard to pursue this line of work and it is easier to break into this field through a private bank although the salary potential might not be as high.

By sneakers41 — On Mar 21, 2011

I just want to say that the personal banker duties also include helping customers open home equity lines of credit. Usually the mortgage broker is the only one that can talk to the customer about mortgages, but home equity products can be handled by a personal banker.

I know because I initially requested a mortgage from a bank and it was granted but the property that I was buying was not eligible for financing because it had less than 50% owner occupancy.

Since it was in a resort area, most of the units were rented, so I had to deal with a personal banker at my branch in order to get a home equity on another property that I had that was paid off in order to finance this purchase.

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