Banks usually divide jobs at bank officer level into grades, depending on how much responsibility is involved and the skills and qualifications required. At one end, new entrants undertake routine clerical tasks. At the other, suitable senior officers can move into management positions.
New entrants might begin with tasks such as dealing with the post, filing or answering routine telephone enquiries. Bank officers at this level also record details of credit, cash and cheque transactions. They use computer systems for this type of task.
The work of many bank officers is based around contact with customers. In some banks, the job titles customer service officer and customer adviser are commonly used.
Their work includes arranging standing orders and direct debits; these are two methods of automatically moving money from a customer's account into another, for example, to pay bills. They are also responsible for opening and closing customers' accounts.
Some bank officers work as cashiers dealing with regular customer transactions at the counter. They explain and promote the financial services offered by the bank. Some might be known as personal banking advisors.
Some bank staff working in retail branches might wear a uniform.
Many bank officers now work in contact centres, where all the customer contact is by phone or online. They often work in large, open-plan offices and use headsets and computers.
At a higher grade, a bank officer might make sure that the branch's transactions for that day are accurately recorded. Some officers might work in the foreign section of larger banks, supplying currency and advising on insurance. Some might deal with customers who wish to apply for a mortgage.
They also make payments abroad on behalf of customers and provide information on the trading conditions of overseas markets.
In some banks, senior staff could be involved in buying and selling stocks and shares on behalf of customers, or advising on savings plans. They might arrange for the safe-keeping of valuables, or make sure that the securities given by a customer in return for a loan are in order. Bank officers at this level often supervise other staff.
Senior and experienced officers help managers to produce reports, analyse balance sheets (which keep a record of money going into and out of accounts), and interview customers.
They are also expected to identify sales and marketing opportunities. Higher grade posts could exist in larger banks.
Personal Qualities and Skills
- Strong customer service skills.
- Motivation, enthusiasm and adaptability.
- Ability to use your initiative.
- Number and IT skills.
- An accurate and methodical approach.
- Able to communicate effectively.
- Work well in a team.
Pay And Opportunities
Typical employers of bank officers
Employment is with the retail banks in branch and regional offices and telephone banking centres, with investment banks and with the Bank of England.
Opportunities for bank officers occur in towns and cities throughout the UK. Investment banks are based mainly in London.
Applicants need a good standard of numeracy, literacy and communication skills, which might be tested during the selection process.
Many entrants have at least 4 GCSEs / National 4 or 5s (or equivalent) at grade C or above, including English and Maths. Some people enter with at least A levels / Highers or equivalent.