Although they may offer many additional services, commercial banks provide a place for depositors to safeguard their money. They offer various accounts such as checking, savings, and money market, and services such as safe deposit boxes and notaries. Additionally, commercial banks make loans. Many commercial banks have expanded their services to include online and investment banking. The industry offers many career opportunities in varying fields and education levels. Administrative jobs include tellers, customer service representatives, new account clerks, loan clerks, bookkeeping clerks, general office clerks, secretaries, receptionists, etc. Management and financial jobs include General managers, branch managers, financial managers, loan officers, loan counselors, and trust officers.
Despite recent economic problems, banks are always in need of tellers and some administrative support positions because there are so many positions available and they have a high turnover rate. Management positions are often filled by promoting qualified individuals.
Teller’s hours may be part time and include weekdays, with some late evenings, and some Saturdays. Hours are often dependent on the branch and location. Branches located inside stores for instance, will more than likely have extended hours. Administrative positions in central branch locations can expect a forty-hour workweek, while managers and loan officers can expect to work extra hours, even meeting clients evening and weekends if necessary.
Commercial Banking Job Responsibilities
Job responsibilities vary with the position. Teller responsibilities include accepting deposits and payments from customers, handling cash withdrawals, and selling other bank services. They must have a good understanding of money and are accountable for the funds in their respective cash drawers. Customer service representatives assist customers to open or close accounts, or help them resolves account issues. They must have a good understanding of all the services offered by the bank. Loan clerks process loan applications, handling all the paperwork required both before and after approval. Accountants, bookkeepers, and data entry clerks manage the banks accounts by processing countless deposit and withdrawal transactions daily. Regardless of the administrative position, one must have good people skills, pay attention to detail and be able to handle money.
Financial and management positions may require supervision of other employees and the banks assets. Loan officers evaluate and approve or deny loan applications, while loan counselors assist customers in their financial management. Trust officers are responsible for the management of pension funds, or profit sharing, sometimes acting as an estate executor in the event of a client’s death. Branch managers oversee the affairs of the individual bank branch. Financial and management positions also require significant marketing and people skills, as they are often the ones responsible for acquiring new business.
Commercial Banking Training and Education Requirements
Education requirements vary by position as well. Tellers are normally required to have at least a high school diploma, and then receive on the job and classroom training after they are hired. Other administrative positions may require some college or specialized training. Good math skills are imperative, along with the ability to comfortably handle large sums of money. Management and financial positions require college degrees, preferably a bachelor’s degree in a business or financial field, or any bachelor’s degree followed by a Masters in Business Administration.
Commercial Banking Salary and Wages
As with other aspects of the commercial banking industry, pay is dependent on position. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008, the median wage for a teller was $11.35 an hour, while the median wage for a General Manager was $42.98 an hour. Other considerations include the size and location of the bank in question. Top management in some commercial banking institutions can earn well over six figures a year.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Commercial Banking Certifications
Many commercial banks offer teller certification training or some kind. Of course, a certified teller earns more pay. Additionally, tellers who continue in their educational pursuits may be promoted higher administrative or management positions.
Certifications for loan officers and mortgage bankers, provided by banks and private institutions, are not necessary for either, but can aid in advancement opportunities. Such programs include the Loan Review Certificate program for loan officers, and the prestigious Certified Mortgage Banker program. The CMB requires three years experience, educational credits and a passing grade in the examination.
Commercial Banking Professional Associations
There are several professional associations for those in the banking industry. Since 1875, membership in the American Bankers Association has included banks of all sizes and markets. The association provides support and information for its members in all aspects of banking, acts as the voice for the banking industry on Capitol Hill while keeping its members current on the latest banking practices and products. The Conference of State Bank Supervisors is an advocate group promoting state banking systems, working to ensure states maintain authority over their banks’ activities. Although it is an independent organization, Congress founded The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), in 1933 as a way to stabilize the banking system. The FDIC insures deposits up to $100,000.00 and acts as a banking overseer.
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